The Shaolin Afronauts

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The Shaolin Afronauts
GenresAfrobeat, Funk, Jazz
Years active2008 - Present
LabelsFreestyle, Meccca
Associated actsThe Transatlantics, Max Savage and the False Idols, Filius Preacher
MembersRoss McHenry, Kevin Van Der Zwaag, Lachlan Ridge, Andrew Crago, Luca Spiler, Adam Page, John Hunt, Chris Weber, Dylan Marshall

The Shaolin Afronauts are an Adelaide-based instrumental afrobeat band[1] that is styled after Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band and Sun Ra. Their music incorporates elements of avant-garde jazz, soul and traditional African and Cuban percussive rhythms.[2]

Founded in 2008 out of a fascination with Afrobeat and creative improvised music[3] the band began their life as a support for The Transatlantics before branching out to play their own shows. Over the course of the next few months, the group solidified with a core of twelve band members and expanded their repertoire of original songs. Over the next few years, the band's presence grew; in 2011, they were booked to play the Womadelaide festival[1] in South Australia and had already seen extensive touring throughout the country.

Later in the same year, they were signed to Freestyle records and saw the release of their debut album, 'flight of the ancients.' The album was featured on Radio National Breakfast[4] and garnered considerable attention on community radio, streetpress and Triple J.

In 2012 The Shaolin Afronauts released their second album 'Quest under Capricorn' on Freestyle Records. The album was recorded with an expanded ensemble of 18 musicians in January 2012.[5]


  • Ross McHenry - Bass
  • Kevin van der Zwaag - Drums
  • Dylan Marshall - Guitar, Synthesizer
  • Lachlan Ridge - Guitar
  • Jarrad Payne - Percussion
  • Chris Weber - Trumpet
  • Stephen McEntee - Trombone
  • Jason McMahon - Saxophone

Previous and occasional members

  • Jon Hunt - Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
  • Adam Page - Tenor Saxophone, Flute
  • Derek Pascoe - Tenor Saxophone
  • Andrew Crago - Saxophones
  • Max Franklin - Saxophones
  • David van der Zwaag - Percussion
  • Joel Prime - Percussion
  • Tim Bennett - Percussion
  • Brenton Foster - Rhodes, Synthesizers
  • Luca Spiler - Trombone, Bass trombone
  • Chris Soole - Saxophone
  • Kahil Nayton - Guitar




  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "60 Seconds With The Shaolin Afronauts - Beat Magazine".
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Album of the Week: Shaolin Afronauts". 31 August 2011.
  5. ^ "ALBUM: The Shaolin Afronauts – Quest Under Capricorn - Freestyle Records".