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Afro Beat Stars At Jazz Canarias, Lanzarote

Tuesday June 7, 2011

Afro Beat Stars At Jazz Canarias, Lanzarote

Jazz Canarias gets underway on July 1st and a number of leading Afro beat stars will be headlining the Lanzarote leg of this free annual event. Which will be staged in the former island capital of Teguise.

Lanzarote will be showcasing the talents of a number of leading African groups when Jazz Canarias gets underway next month. Including the jazz funk singer Fatoumata Diawara, whose debut EP Kanou was extremely well received when it was released earlier this year.

Ms Diawara was born in Cote D'Ivoire, but spent much of her childhood in Mali before moving to Paris in recent years. Fatoumata has also achieved recognition as an actress on both the stage and in film and has already fought a degree of opposition to her choice of career from her parents.

Her music combines her haunting vocal sound, which has echoes of North African melodies, with acoustic guitar and African rhythms and the lyrics often drawing on her own personal experiences. Fatoumata Diawara will be playing in Teguise during Canarias Jazz, at an open air event in the old historic centre over the weekend of 8th and 9th July.

Two further African groups will be playing in Lanzarote during the festival. They are the Naya Band and the Gangbó Brass Band.

The Naya Band formed in the Gran Canaria and is composed of musicians from Senegal, the Canaries and Venezuela. As a result, their music forms an African-Latin fusion sound. Their first work 'Globalization' sold out on release and the band have been performing non-stop since they came together in 2005.

The Gangbó Brass Band is an eight piece group hailing from Benin. Gangbó means the 'sound of metal' and true to their name, they play a range of brass instruments, combining more traditional jazz sounds with African music, with especial reference at times to the work of Fela Kuti.

Eddie Palmieri will be playing dates in Gran Canaria and Tenerife. The Grammy winning Puerto Rican pianist has had a career in Latin Jazz for decades, with his 'Azucar Pa Ti' album, recorded in 1965, acknowledged as one of the most influential sounds of the 1960's.

Also headlining dates in Tenerife and Gran Canaria is the smooth jazz musician Lee Ritenour, whose guitar based sound combines blues with more easy listening music. Ritenour will be playing with band mate Dave Grusin at his concerts in the Canaries. In the past, Lee Ritenour has played with such luminaries as Dizzie Gillespie, Frank Sinatra and B.B. King to name just three.

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