Kanda Bongo Man
Soukous, the dance music of Zaire, was updated by Paris-based vocalist and bandleader Konda Bongo Man. With his high tenor vocals alternating between lyrics in Lingala andFrench, Bongo Man and his band, which has included influential guitarists Diblo Dibala in the 1980s and Rigo Star in the 1990s, has sparked dancing in audiences around the globe.
The New York Times wrote, "Zairean soukous is a lilting, rippling, dance groove that seems to smile from every register, with melody and rhythm inseparable.
Kanda Bongo Man will be joined by a six piece band and two dancers on his visit to the Peel Centenary Centre.
Gasper Nali is a Malawian one-man-band. An old video of him playing his 3 metre longone-string bass guitar has been watched over 18 million times online in the last 12 months. Gasper’s incredible instrument – a Babatoni – is all homemade, and is played with a beer bottle and a stick while he’s singing and stomping a locally fashioned kick-pedal on his cow
skin bass drum. His music is bouncy and catchy, Malawi Roots to the core, and very danceable. Songlines Magazine summed it up very well in their 4-star review of his album: “…simple but joyous, and totally infectious”.
Gasper, 35, lives a quite modest life in the small town of Nkhata Bay on the shores ofnorthern Lake Malawi. In his younger years, he and his brothers would travel a bit with a family band in order to make money, but these days he lives alone in a small house inNkhata Bay, mainly supporting himself by playing regular shows at venues in town,
Michael Mountain, the composer and singer, is a multifaceted man. He is a small-scaletobacco and maize farmer, a community organiser, a reflective thinker, a prolificsongwriter and a charismatic artist. On one hand he is deeply rooted in the spirituality ofthe Rastafari movement, on the other, immersed in the local politics of being chief of asmall village.
Raised and educated in Zambia, Michael now lives the humble lifestyle common to mostpeople in rural Malawi with his wife and two young children. The front porch of their small house is his favourite place. From there he can clearly see life from a different point of view and put these reflections into song.
His debut album “Nowhere Else To Go” was mainly recorded in a studio on the shores of Lake Malawi, where Michael’s soulful voice was backed up by a crew of fantastic musicians from the Nkhata-Bay area. A few overdubs, some finishing touches and themixing was done in Sweden and the result of this collaboration is something quite special.
Its an old school, low-key kind of reggae, where Michael’s singing takes centre stage infront of a band that produces an organic and sometimes almost fragile vibe.