Sunday, October 31, 2010

WOMEX 2010: Day 3


Posting this late, but as you can see, Sr. Wemba rallied for our interview, and had the above greeting for the Afropop community.  From that early start, the day and night provided non-stop action.  Interviews with Damily, the awesome Malagasy guitarist, who also played his "mandolin," and gave me a dizzying primer on playing tsapika guitar. 


We also taped a fascinating interview and session with the winner of this year's WOMEX prize, Daniel Waro of Reunion.  Waro has an amazing tale of music, rebellion, creole cultural identity and political awakening going back to the 1950s.

Daniel Waro

The night showcases were consistently good this night, making much work for the busy Afropop team!  One standout was a timbila pop band from Mozambique, Cheny Wa Gune Quarteto.  This band did a terrific job of working the complex and crazy rhythms of timbila music into a modern, small band context.  Cheny is also an irresistible front man.

Cheny Wa Gune Quarteto

Nathalie Natiembe (Reunion) and Fatoumata Diawara offered different takes on trad-rock.  Natiembe fitted her earthy roots vocal to a kind of garage band reggae vibe, a bit rad, but sincere and persuasive.  Diawara edged her wassoulou sound in a more smooth pop rock direction, effective at times, but overall a little packaged.  We await the CD, but the live show has room to grow.  Sexteto Tabala de Palenque delivered the hybrid village tradition of the Colombian coast--delightful.  But for me the pick of the night was Oudaden, an ecstatic, "tradi-moderne" Berber band from Agadir, Morocco.  Womexicans are known for their reticence on the dance floor, but long before the DJ hour, Oudaden had a trancey dance vibe permeating the the room.  Featured years ago on Afropop's Berber Rising program, this group more than lived up to the promise of their recordings.

Banning Eyre

Fatoumata Diaouwara
Sexteto Tabala de Palenque
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