Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where Mali meets Cuba...Music is spoken!!

Its Saturday night and i want to go catch a good movie on Movie Magic 1 or 2, while sipping a cold Tusker. But then there this story i have been following on the BBC recently, that i just had to write about before. Few things separate me from cold Tuskers (Africa's finest quality lager) and good movies. The headline read 'Second chance for Buena Vista Social Club'. I am big fan of the Cuban group (which is testified by the fact that one of the few things i did at Istanbul's Ataturk International airport while waiting for my connecting flight to Nairobi in September was to buy a Compay Segundo album), so my attention was definitely caught.
According to the BBC story, Malian musicians Djelimady Tounkara and Bassekou Kouyat were in 1996 supposed to travel to Cuba to record music with local musicians. It never happened. Visa problems (i wonder just how many dreams have been shattered by embassy officials who deny visas on flimsy grounds...but that's a story for another day) conspired to deny music lovers what in my opinion is the greatest collaboration of all time. Still the session in Havana went ahead, and produced the best selling Buena Vista Social Club.

Finally, in 2010, British producer Nick Gold has managed to get the Malians and Cubans together in a Spanish studio. The Malians speak English and French. The Cubans Spanish. And so the only common language between them is music! And boy, aren't they fluent!!

Its delightfully wonderful to sit back and listen to them. I hope they can come and play in Nairobi soon. In fact, the next step for me is to write to the Cuban embassy in Nairobi and Nick Gold, with a proposal that they facilitate a show in Nairobi next year.

Meanwhile, i will enjoy watching clips of their performances online, hoping that their album will soon be available in Nairobi's music stores. And now, off to catch the movie and cold Tusker!!

1 comment:

  1. I saw them in London in november last year and they were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

    They are coming back so, if you are in Europe, it may be worth to come. Otherwise, I suggest you contact Buena Vista Club Social, they are a label that produces a huge number of African and Afroamerican music bands.