Tabou Combo, will perform a gala relief benefit concert on Saturday, May 22 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Tabou Combo, together for 42 years, is widely regarded as the ambassador of Haiti’s national dance music genre known as Compas (con-pa). The band’s masterful compositions and undulating rhythms have propelled them to international prominence and worldwide performances, from the famous Zenith Theatre in Paris, Dakar Senegal and Belgium to Panama, Montreal and the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans.
I first encountered Ba Cissoko in their home in Marseilles during a packed performance at Club de Sud. Guinean kora master Ba Cissoko and his troupe feature not one, but two kora players, a bassist, and a percussionist. They started out in a pretty standard Afropop groove and then one of the kora players would quick his effects box rack and start wailing out an improvisation kora lead like you might hear from Eric Clapton -- except he's playing with two fingers...his whole body would light up and lift off the stage. the crowd just went nuts!!
On their latest album, 'Seno', they manage to create a brand new sound which has rare cross-generational appeal back home in their native Guinea. The old people love it because it reveres the venerable tradtions of the griot and the kora. The youth love it because it twists and moulds that tradition into enticing new forms.
Check out the new album by these boys, you won't get dissapointed!
When it comes to Ska Cubano, rarely has the expression a match made in heaven been so apropos. Take classic rhythms from two of the worlds most musically influential islands, Jamaica and Cuba, mash them together like mint and sugar, add ample of amounts of intoxicating melodies and a dash of jest; the result is a magical musical cocktail that has been setting dance floors ablaze from London to Tokyo. Check out today's FREE Song:
The idea of creating a Cuban ska band originated with Peter A. Scott, a British entrepreneur and music lover whose business ventures brought him regularly to Jamaica and Cuba. Scott invited Natty Bo, a renowned London ska singer and devotee of all things retro, to travel with him to the city of Santiago de Cuba, often called the cradle of Cuban music because of its influential role in the development of popular Cuban music, to record with some of the best local musicians. Natty Bo, also a popular London DJ, was an avid collector of old Cuban 78s, and suggested bringing other flavors into the mix such as Colombian cumbia, Jamaican mento and Trinidadian calypso.
While in Santiago, Natty Bo heard Cuban crooner Beny Billy, the living reincarnation of the legendary Beny Moré, belting it out in a bar, and knew then and there he had found his vocal counterpart on the project. Back in London, Natty Bo formed a band featuring the leading maestros of Cuban and Jamaican music, and the group set about bringing the irresistible Ska Cubano sound to the concert stage. The rest, as they say, is history, or at least, historical revisionism, as Ska Cubano posits a world where the music of Caribbean cousins Jamaica, Cuba and beyond developed a closer kinship back in the day before reggae and salsa shook the globe.
André Bourgeois and Mano Bap are influenced by the 1960's and 70's jazz, and the experiments of Kruder and Dorfmeister and Erik Truffaz.
They have distanced themselves from the all powerfull Drum'n' Bass and have developed a sound that draws on the best of the technology and the acoustic. Bourgeois and Bap use a computer to record musicians -- not because they are strivng for the artificial, but because they are striving for emotion.
Today' s Free song will delight you with its editing, post production and sound texture. It's a breath of fresh air, for sure! Bap and Bourgeois lead us far beyond all musical and nationality allegiances, so watch out!
Radio Mundial (World Radio) is a musical collective originally formed by Puerto Rican/Peruvian vocalist and guitarist Jean Shepard and Chilean Swedish DJ and producer Andy Delano. Together with band members Gianni Mano (congas), Geraldo Flores (timbales), Andy Sanesi (drums) Gustavo Amarante (bass), they unleashed the dynamic sounds of their lush harmonies. Jean's cuatro (Puerto Rico's national instrument) also brings exciting percussion and a unique song-writing style.
The full Radio Mundial experience was born as the band soon began playing its modern fusion of Afro-Latin-inspired funk to packed stages in and around New York. Quickly they built a loyal following of devoted fans, and caught the ears and eyes of legendary music men and women. Check it out!!
Born in the village of Mazoso, in the province of Benguela, Angola, Moises and Jose Kafala both rose to national fame individually before their debut performance together in Luanda.
The Kafala Brothers' music is best described as Angolan folk music. Their songs are revolutionary in nature and reflect real life experiences, while painting poetic portraits of Angola's 30 year long war and continued struggle for national reconciliation. Using a single guitar and a flute, the Kafalas are able to tell stories of war, sadness, love and joy with conviction and heartbreaking vocal harmonies which have been known to provoke uncontrolled tears to well up in the eyes of those listening.
Today's FREE Song is by Coco Mbassi, She is Cameroonian, but she is principally based in Paris. Winner of the 1996 Radio France Internationale Decouvertes 'prize in the African music category, she is both an author and a composer.
Coco's songs tell stories often based on personal life experiences that she recalls. It's these stories and feelings that make her songs what they are today, and a great deal of these memories are made up of those old sepia-colored (black and white) photographs from home.
With a postgraduate degree in translation she began singing lead and chorus in the African gospel choir "Les Cherubins" and as a backing vocalist, she collaborated with various artists like Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, Manu Dibango and Ray Lema.
The words to the songs of her mother tongue, Duala, are often found combined with jazzy, minimalist and classical arrangements, where vocal polyphony and African rhythm continue to play an important role. Coco Mbassi composes her own pieces and writes the words. Although her husband - who teaches as classical double-bassist - exercises a strong influence on her music writing, in her childhood she was permanently exposed at home to a wide variety of Händel, Makossa and jazz bigbands.
French DJ, Frederic Galliano, has been working the French groove scene since 1994. He put together his own label, Frikyiwa, with artists and bands such as Hadja Kouyaté, Baye Coly, Néba Solo, Ali Boulo Santo, and others. His latest project, 'Kuduro Sound System', is all about dance and takes us across the continent of Africa to Angola.
The Kuduro was born in 1996 in Angola. Created by Tony Amado, the Angolan's Grandmaster Flash. Kuduro is an African electronic production, and Galliano's beats are a savant mix of programming inspired by Angola's carnival. Just check out the moves on the Kuduro Sound System's live video and you'll be a believer!!
Concert musicians Pêcheurs de Perles (Pearl divers) is based in the south of France. They are composed of an Iraqi singer and four European musicians.
The band's origins come from a very rich musical tradition (Persian Gulf Pearl-divers) and allow both Eastern and Western countries to meet and come together. This combination has given a style of music which is sensitive, impassionate, flamboyant and nostalgic and has been inspired by the sight of the universe.
That name, as a symbol, reminds an ancient time when the Persian Gulf was the best place for pearl diving and was practised in the Isle of Barhein, Iran, South of Iraq, Kuwait and up to Yemen.
On boats, musicians were bound to help pearl divers in giving a rythm to their job.
Pearl diving has stopped, music has survived.