Newly-formed international music ensemble Bokanté is connected on a foundation of eight musicians spanning two decades and four continents. Rich in the sounds of delta and desert, the unusual but evocative instrumentation blends musical worlds to convey an urgent message of social awareness. Named for the Creole word for “exchange,” bokanté was born from the childhood language of vocalist Malika Tirolien, who grew up on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Tirolien is joined by two-time Grammy award-winning guitarists Michael League, Chris McQueen and Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), percussion legend Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Sting), pedal and lap steel virtuoso Roosevelt Collier (Lee Boys), and percussionists André Ferrari (Väsen) and Keita Ogawa (Banda Magda, Yo-Yo Ma).
The band comes together to create a diverse ensemble rich in groove, melody, and soul. Their debut album, Strange Circles, goes from Zeppelin-esque blues stomp to folkloric Caribbean kaladja over the course of ten tracks. Singing in both Creole and French, Tirolien’s words draw nuanced pictures of racism, the refugee crisis, a dying planet, and apathy towards human suffering. Through it all, Bokanté is a vibrant image of what it wishes to see in the world: connection, unity, and love through exchange.
FRIDAY JUNE 23 @ WEST END CULTURAL CENTRE
DOORS 7 PM | CASIMIRO NHUSSI 8 PM | BOKANTÉ 9 PM