Watcha Clan are a Marseilles-based quartet that fuses together influences as diverse as its members’ heritages. Drawing on North African, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, French, and modern electronic musical styles for inspiration, the Clan claim a nomadic ethic, calling no single style “home.” Since their inception at the turn of the century, their touring schedule and lifestyle have been as nomadic as their philosophy and man did they ever just blow me away, the fusion was monstrous and heavy in the beat department with grooves that would make any vinyl album jealous….I would go to see them at any show that they were a part of. They are a band that I hope my radio show takes lessons from….Direction unknown.
Balla Tounkara, a griot and master kora player from Mali, West Africa, is one of the hottest artists on America’s World Music scene. He and his band Groupe Spirit have been bringing a spicy, eclectic blend of danceable music utilizing African, Latin, Funk, Reggae, Jazz and Blues musical styles to enthusiastic audiences across the country. Balla’s playing is skilled and sincere, falling deeply into the Malian allure, I found myself in a state of happiness that only a kora can accompany one in..
Finishing with a great African dance band is a La FÃªte Saturday night tradition. The fest has had legendary performers Kekele and Samba Mapangala and Senegal’s Fallou Dieng the past three years. In keeping with this pattern the dynamic Lura and her 7-piece band from Cape Verde (an island nation across from Senegal in northwest Africa) had the honor of driving the audience into a dancing frenzy. This band’s music was absolutely transcendent under the stars. Lura is full of energy and passion that speads over a crowd quickly & these things are rewarded greatly on a Saturday night conclusion to a beautifully sounding and picturesquely perfect day.