BOKANTÉ with CASIMIRO NHUSSI AND NAFRO BAND
Newly-formed international music ensemble Bokanté is connected on a foundation of eight musicians spanning two decades and four continents. Rich in the sounds of delta and desert, the unusual but evocative instrumentation blends musical worlds to convey an urgent message of social awareness. Named for the Creole word for “exchange,” bokanté was born from the childhood language of vocalist Malika Tirolien, who grew up on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Tirolien is joined by two-time Grammy award-winning guitarists Michael League, Chris McQueen and Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), percussion legend Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Sting), pedal and lap steel virtuoso Roosevelt Collier (Lee Boys), and percussionists André Ferrari (Väsen) and Keita Ogawa (Banda Magda, Yo-Yo Ma).
The band comes together to create a diverse ensemble rich in groove, melody, and soul. Their debut album, Strange Circles, goes from Zeppelin-esque blues stomp to folkloric Caribbean kaladja over the course of ten tracks. Singing in both Creole and French, Tirolien’s words draw nuanced pictures of racism, the refugee crisis, a dying planet, and apathy towards human suffering. Through it all, Bokanté is a vibrant image of what it wishes to see in the world: connection, unity, and love through exchange.
CASIMIRO NHUSSI AND NAFRO BAND
Casimiro Nhussi is the leader of the Kalahari drumming group and the NAfro Band. Nhussi is also a member of Bafana drumming group, the Million Civilian Band, and Afri-Can Band. Starting his career as dancer, then became the principal dancer, and then the Artistic Director of the Mozambique National Song and Dance Company. Cas is currently the Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s only African contemporary dance company, NAfro Dance Productions — which he founded in 2002.
The NAfro band is an African percussion-based band with a guitar and horn section and a band leader — that not only brings it all together — but is charming and entertaining. The band began playing to accompany the dance productions but soon branched out to play its own gigs around Winnipeg. Their style is AfroBeat and AfroJazz with straight-ahead rhythms.
They play their own original songs and a smattering of songs they just can’t resist covering. That’s NAfro band. They play what moves them and they’re sure it will get you moving too!Fall into their trance and simply relax and be entertained.