…a sampling of Jazz news deserving of a post rather than a roll, a blogroll
The Indian sub-continent has long been a magnet for conscious American Jazz musicians and World pop stars. There is something intriguing about the spirituality of traditional Indian music that germinates and spurs collaborations of all sorts.
Often, it is India that gives of itself, taking the artistes who are exposed to its music to their individual heavens. But on Tuesday, October 16, 2007, India was the recipient of the Caribbean spirit in the person of Martinique pianist, Mario Canonge.
Canonge was hosted at the Baba Makhan Shah Lobana auditorium in the Indian city of Vyloppili Samskriti Bahvan by Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum and the Embassy of France in India. Canonge was accompanied on this ambassadorial stint by two other Martiniquan musicians, Alex Bernard (bass) and Gregory Louis (drums).
Expressindia.com reports that a small audience turned out to visit with Canonge. They were treated in part to some of the compositions from Canonge’s latest album Rhizome (2003). Canonge describes Rhizome as a chronicle of World Music. Newindpress.com chimed that he calls it World Jazz Fusion, a synthesis of the indigenous musics of Martinique, the Beguine and Mazurka, and those of Poland, Cuba, Vietnam, Africa and Morocco.
Now imagine if Andy Narell was able to come to the British Virgin Islands as originally planned. We would have enjoyed the virtuosity of Mario Canonge although not as a leader, but in the musical context of Sakésho, a band in which he occupies the pianist’s chair.
St. Lucia Jazz took flight to the Maison Des Cultures Du Monde in the Heart of the Paris, France for the 2007 Cibrations Caraibe Jazz festival. The festival ran from October 3 -7 and featured established and emerging artists from Paris, New York and the Caribbean.
Representing the Caribbean was St. Lucia-based Jazz group Bluemango. Bluemango is really more of a Caribbean band than St. Lucian though, the seven members hailing from and still residing in their respective countries, namely St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique and French Guiana. They are Richard Payne (Musical Director and pianist), Francis John and Teddyson John (bass and vocals respectively) from St. Lucia; André Woodvine (saxophone) from Barbados; Miki Telephe (percussions), Dominique (drums) from Martinique; and Eric Bonheur (guitar) French Guiana.
A St. Lucia Star Online report of Monday, October 15 states that the band’s blend of Contemporary Jazz, Popular music, Indigenous Caribbean music and World beat was received by the Parisian fans with much love and appreciation. The article goes on to say that Bluemango was an opening act on the main stage of St. Lucia Jazz 2007. The band has also appeared at several other Caribbean Jazz Festivals such as the Terre de Blues (Marie Galante), Kayenn Jazz (French Guiana), Beguine Jazz in Martinique as well as a one-off concert in Trinidad.
But with regards to the band’s Paris date, band director Richard Payne told the Star Online that “Paris is very important to us strategically and we are very happy that we were so well received.”
Speaking of the organisers, Payne expressed his appreciation for “…their invitation as well as their hospitality and trust that other groups from Saint Lucia will be invited to participate in the near future.”
In his analysis of Paris as “…the capital of Jazz and World Music in Europe…,” Payne viewed his band’s stint at the Cibrations Caraibe Jazz festival as having “…the potential to raise our profile and create opportunities to take our music to new audiences around France and other cities in Europe. The festival also allowed us to network with the press, patrons, fellow artistes, some of which may result in future projects…”