Global Divas & Global Blues
LuminaTO - Queen's Park June 19
It was hot, the G20 preps are getting insane downtown and I had to eat here and there (although the
schmancy vendors that closed down Queen's Park Circle had an incredible risotto with osso bucco - I got the
Protegid. Her music is a sinuous and melodic blend of modern jazz and Cape Verde polyrhythms. Her songs and the rhythm itself sometimes inspired by the traditions of home, like the one that used the rhythm of how women separate the corn, good and bad. Deceptively swingy, the songs carry you along so you forget the complexities of the music. Her warm, rich and flexible voice pulls it all together.
Katanen "Cheka" Dioubaté, a native of Guinea and hailing from a traditonal griot lineage. She was backed up by a band of local all stars, including Rich Brown (of Rinsethealgorithm on bass,) the perfect backdrop to her strong, griot style vocals. The music was lit up by the infectious vitality of West Africa, and her big voice and stage presence left a definite impression.
Madagascar Slim. Both natives of Madagascar, Razia is now NYC based. She presented a sexy and glamourous version of the modern African woman in rhythmic and expressive songs that made the most of her strong and sometimes raspy alto. She's on the road promoting her CD Zebu Nation
The crowd was insane by the time Salif Keita hit the
stage. Approaching 61, he's on the top of his game, with a voice that's still nimble and backed up by a band of
La Difference was just released earlier this month.