Tag Archives: Kokoko!

Boston University Announces Second Annual Bu Global Music Festival

Boston University has announced the second annual BU Global Music Festival to be held October 4th and 5th, 2019 on the Boston University Charles River Campus. The festival will be free, open to the public and is intended for all ages.

The festival will include traditional and contemporary international musicians, as well as local world music artists.

Les Filles de Illighadad

The lineup includes Les Filles de Illighadad (Niger) who will bring to the festival the music of rural Niger called “tende” featuring compositions built from vocals, handclaps, and percussion; 47Soul (Palestine/UK) celebrated for inventing their own genre Shamstep, which fuses dub synth sounds with rock elements, hip-hop and pop lyrics in English and Arabic.

Also featured: Gamelan Cudamani (Bali, Indonesia) known for their outstanding creativity; Frontera Bugalú (Mexico/Texas) who perform a combination of high-energy “cumbia” mixed with other traditional Mexican and Latin American rhythms.

Saraswathi Ranganathan (India/US) will treat festival goers to a diverse presentation of the ancient veena; and Congolese band KOKOKO! (Democratic Republic of Congo), known for building their own instruments and blending Congolese and modern music.

Local artists Grooversity (Boston/Brazil) and Eastern Medicine Singers (Algonquin, Rhode Island) will also perform.

The festival is produced by the BU Arts Initiative – Office of the Provost and the College of Fine Arts Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology through the Karbank Fund for Global Music. Musician and BU ethnomusicologist Marié Abe continues to serve as artistic director. Additional support comes from BU Global Programs, BU College of Fine Arts, and BU Dean of Students’ Office, the New England and American Studies Program. WBUR will serve as a media sponsor.

Saraswathi Ranganathan

“BU is very proud to host this festival and to welcome so many talented artists from around the world. Such events have transformative power. They expose us to different experiences, perspectives, and artistic expressions, while helping to break down barriers and bring us closer together,” said Jean Morrison, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of the University.

 “The BU Global Music Festival creates community and inspires greater understanding and respect through our shared passion for music and the performing arts,” expressed Harvey Young, Dean of the College of Fine Arts.

In addition to workshops and demonstrations offered to the public during the festival, this year, the BU Global Music Festival and BU Music Education Department have developed a new opportunity with the Boston Public Schools Office of the Arts, which will connect Boston’s music educators with visiting international musicians for a professional development credit in global music.

“The Boston University Music Education Department and students are excited to partner with Boston Public School music educators for a collaborative professional development opportunity centered around the world music traditions represented at this year’s Global Music Festival,” said Tawnya Smith, BU Assistant Professor in Music Education and member of the BU Provost’s Arts Council.

In addition to music, the Global Bazaar featuring artisan goods for purchase from international and immigrant communities continues this year. On Saturday afternoon guests can also take part in a Cultural Vendor Fair where they can peruse more than a dozen regional cultural and ethnic organizations that offer arts related programming throughout the year.

More information at www.bu.edu/gmf/ and www.bu.edu/arts

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Artist Profiles: KOKOKO!

KOKOKO!

KOKOKO! is a collective of musicians from Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The artists are known for creating a contemporary and distinctive dance style of music. KOKOKO! uses instruments built from up-cycling cans, engine parts, plastic containers, and other trash and scrap found on the city streets.

KOKOKO!
KOKOKO!
KOKOKO!
KOKOKO!

The core of the ensemble are musical instrument makers from the Ngwaka neighborhood, Makara Bianko, electronic producer Débruit and dancers from the Lingwala neighborhood.

In the spring of 2018, KOKOKO! concluded its first sold-out European tour. In 2019, the band embarked on an American tour.

KOKOKO! Have several recordings and have collaborated with other African artists on remixes and music. The EP Liboso EP was released in December 2018 on Transgressive Records.

Discography:

Liboso (Transgressive Records, 2018)
Fongola (Transgressive Records, 2019)

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African Stars and Rising Acts at La Mar de Músicas 2018 Music Festival

Kokoko!, Fatoumata Diawara, Songhoy Blues, Bamba Wassoulou Groove, Djanka Diabaté, Nélida Karr and Alex Ikot are the African artists set to perform between July 20 and 28, 2018 in Cartagena, Spain at world music festival La Mar de Músicas.

Music from Africa has always played a leading role in La Mar de Músicas. The festival has dedicated previous editions to Senegal, Mali, Morocco and South Africa. Even though this year is dedicated to the music of Denmark, African artists will be represented as well.

We have not stopped looking at Africa in any of our editions. We will continue being one of the seminal festivals in terms of music from the African continent in Spain,” said David Martínez Noguera, Culture councilman of the Cartagena City Council.

Kokoko!

 

Representing the alternative music scene of the Congo, Kokoko! will perform on Saturday, July 21. Kokoko! is a hard to define band viewed from the western perspective. Their sounds emerge from the ghetto and the gambling dens of Kinshasa, where they avoided the censorship imposed by the government.

Kokoko! is part of the “do it yourself” concept in terms of the instruments they use. They invented their own instruments with scrap objects, given the impossibility of buying the traditional ones. A typewriter, a bucket of paint, a car’s cassette player … they have become the transmitters of their creations.

The band met French producer and African music fan, Débruit, and together they merged their sound universes, electrifying the raw sound of the Congolese and offering music that merges disco sounds, psychedelia and African traditions.

 

Songhoy Blues

 

La Mar de Músicas will welcome Songhoy Blues, all the way from Timbuktu. Formed by three young people who, despite the ban on music in their region, continued their work from their exile in Bamako. They released an album that says it all, Résistence, in which they collaborated with Iggy Pop. Songhoy Blues will be in Cartagena on July 22.

Another of the Malian bands that participate in La Mar de Músicas is Bamba Wassoulou Groove, an act in which three guitarists stand in the wake of the legendary Zani Diabaté, who died in 2011.

Bamba Wassoulou Groove perform new songs and classic pieces from the bambara repertoire that sound like psychedelic guitars and electric and hypnotic blues. On July 25 will play in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Cartagena (Cartagena city hall square).

 

Fatoumata Diawara – Photo by Angel Romero

 

Fatoumata Diawara, originally from Mali, is a singer-songwriter who fuses wassulu music, an original style from the south of the Niger River with jazz and soul, creating a blend of modernity and African traditions with ancestral echoes. Her precious voice, trained as a theater and film performer in France and Mali, unfolds without limits in her latest work, Fenfo, which she will present in the old courtyard of the Military Training Barracks of Cartagena on July 27.

Djanka Diabaté was discovered by reggae star Alpha Blondy, who encouraged her and helped her make her first recordings. Her music combines traditional Guinean sounds and zouk and soukus influences and has made her a celebrity in Ivory Coast. In Cartagena she will perform on Monday, July 23rd along with Totó la Momposina, winner of La Mar de Músicas 2018 award.

 

Nélida Karr

 

Nélida Karr is the contemporary musical revelation of the new rhythms and sounds of Equatorial Guinea. Vocalist, composer, producer, pianist, guitarist and cellist, she has always been surrounded by the wealth of her family’s musical heritage, the landscapes of her country, jazz and gospel music.

Nélida will perform in Cartagena on Thursday, July 26, as she is one of the winners of the Vis a Vis cultural cooperation project of Casa África, in which the Cartagena festival has participated once more. Casa África is a Spanish government agency that supports cultural exchange between Spain and African nations.

 

Alex Ikot

 

On July 28, the last day of the festival, and also thanks to the Vis a Vis project, Equatorial Guinean actor Alex Ikot will perform. He’s a musician who has always excelled in the music scene of his country as a percussionist and drummer, skills that he developed from his childhood.

Álex Ikot’s resume is perhaps the most international of Equatoguinean musicians, having played during his long career with some of the greatest African musicians, such as Manu Dibango and Youssou N’Dour.

More at lamardemusicas.cartagena.es

headline photo: Bamba Wassoulou Groove

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