CULTURE

Two-day ethnic extravaganza

Ethnic music is set to take over the Vrachon Theater, as the newly founded two-day Cosmic Festival starts tonight. The event will open with Nigerian Femi Kuti, a worthy successor of his father – afro-beat legend Fela Kuti – who will be joined by the Positive Force. The funky «!!!» (pronounced «chk chk chk»), which stole the show at the 2007 Synch Festival, is up next. The act’s live gigs are an experience to remember – when Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante caught one of their concerts, he immediately asked them to accompany the rock band on its 2006 British tour. Soul-meets-hip-hop singer Nneka will round off the first evening. The second day will be headlined by Ska Cubano and the band’s mixture of Jamaican and Caribbean sounds. The act’s music might have a retro touch, but it is contemporary and very exciting. Sicilian trumpeter Roy Paci is scheduled to perform his ska, rock and African beats, along with the Aretuska band. Paci is a founding member of Radio Bemba Soundsystem, which accompanies Manu Chao at his concerts. The festival will end with local musician Kostis Maraveyas and his Maraveyas Ilegal, whose bohemian and energetic stage presence, a cross between Manu Chao and Tonino Carotone, has won over local fans. For information, call 213.203.7819. Tickets are available at Ianos, Public and Fnac stores.