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Artist Profiles: Bidinte

Bidinte

Jorge Da Silva Bidinte – a multi-faceted musician: composer, vocalist, guitar player, percussionist – represented one of the most genuine voices coming from the mingling of Creole and mixed-race cultures in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa).

Bidinte was born and brought up in Boloma, a small port city in the Bijagós Islands, whose streets, docks and daily life were constantly permeated by music. When the time came for Bidinte to start secondary school his family moved to Bissau where they happened to settle in the Ajada neighborhood, the meeting point of musicians from all over the city.

In 1978, Bidinte took part in the Youth Festival of Havana (Cuba). A decade later he traveled to Lisbon (Portugal) to play for a conference of journalists, where he met a group of musicians led by Justino Delgado, together with whom he set up a new band, Docolma, and made three records. Bidinte was invited by a nightclub to give several concerts in Madrid (Spain) in 1992. “I immersed myself in the night life, absorbing flamenco music, a music which I feel deeply attracted to,” said Bidinte as he described his experience in the Spanish capital. He decided to stay and settled in Madrid.

This is how he has achieved and developed a stimulating fusion between Afro-Portuguese rhythms, the Guinean gumbé, and flamenco sounds. After collaborating in Spain with other artists as a percussionist, composer and singer, Bidinte has made his way into the recording studio to present his own music.

Kumura, his first album, was realized thanks to Bidinte’s musical talent, bottomless creativity – encouragingly praised by David Byrne, who was present at the recording sessions -, and the invaluable contribution of artists such as Jorge Pardo, Paco Cruz, Camillo Edwards, Pap N’Diaye, Edú Nascimento and Dino del Monte.

During his final years, he lived in Almendralejo (Badajoz), Madrid and Guinea Bissau, where he led music workshops for children and brought musical instruments donated by his Spanish friends.

Bidinte died in 2015 of a heart attack. His daughter Alana continues the family tradition as vocalist in the acclaimed Madrid band Cosmosoul.

Discography:

Kumura (Nubenegra, 1999)
Iran Di Fanka’s (Nubenegra, 2001)

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Travel the World with Putumayo DVD

Travel the World with Putumayo

 

The first in a series of DVDs, Travel the World with Putumayo features music videos and concert performances by some of the label’s favorite artists filmed on location in India, Brazil, Senegal, Cuba and beyond. Known for creating collections of international artists for the past decade, Putumayo has uncovered videos and live performances which are sure to appeal to audiences of all ages.

With few broadcast outlets, most of these videos have never been viewed outside their country of origin. The video for Ricardo Lemvo’s Afro-Latin hit Mambo Yo Yo was filmed in Havana, Cuba and captures the city’s vibrant energy.

Czech gypsy singer Vera Bílá’s Pas O Panori video transports the viewer to a rustic Eastern European Gypsy village. Senegalese band Tukuleur’s Afrika features majestic shots of the West African landscape and scenes filmed on Goree Island, an infamous transfer point during the slave trade.

Egyptian singer Hisham Abbas’ Nari Nari features colorful Bollywood-style choreography, striking cinematography and was filmed in the shadow of the Taj Mahal in India. Bidinte, from war-torn Guinea-Bissau, offers a moving song about the impact of war on children and families.

Travel the World with Putumayo also features videos from Brazilian artists Chico César and Rita Ribeiro, Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe, Senegal’s Touré Kunda, Nigerian band Kotoja, Canadian Celtic singer Mary Jane Lamond and the French-Argentinian electronic tango ensemble Gotan Project. Ten of the twelve featured videos are of songs found on Putumayo albums.

As an added bonus, Travel the World with Putumayo includes Oliver Mtukudzi’s Hear Me Lord filmed live at a nightclub in Zimbabwe, and a powerful concert performance of Habib Koité’s Wassiyé filmed in Huy, Belgium.

Each music video and live performance is viewable with complete subtitles in English, Spanish, French or German, enabling viewers to better understand the songs and their meanings. Also included are insightful biographies of each artist and a short documentary about Putumayo World Music’s history.

Buy Travel the World with Putumayo.

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