I need to see everything, which is impossible at jazzfest. I do pretty well with at least getting a taste of a lot.
Cheick Hamala Diabate is a West African historian in the Griot tradition, and a world-recognized master of the ngoni, a Malian traditional instrument.I loved Cheick Hamala Diabate and his Malian ensemble.
I also enjoyed a bit of OTRA at the Congo Square stage. I didn't realize they are from NOLA, or maybe I forgot.
was formed in Feb. 2002 by bassist Sam Price. After performing with
other New Orleans-area latin bands that played a standard repertoire
of popular latin covers, Price sought to create an original project
that would empasize creativity, powerful soloing, and irresistable
grooves, while honoring the afro-cuban roots of 'latin' music.
'Pupi' Menes and Price had played together in various latin bands.
Columbian timbale master Cristobal 'El Canon' Cruzado was coaxed
out of retirement from 20 years in a Bourbon St. show band (young
Venezualan percussionist Gabriel Vasquez now alternates timbale
duties). Saxophonist Brent Rose's incendiary, soulful playing was
just the voice the band needed. When original trumpeter Bob Garrett
left, Rose recruited Eric Lucero, a close friend and section-mate
for many years. The two share great on-stage comradery and rare
musical intuition. The final piece fell into place with the arrival
of pianist/guitarist Rob Block from St. Louis in May, 2002. Block
brought with him a wealth of experience from the St. Louis and New
York latin scenes, as well as great writing skills.
can be heard in OTRA's sound include: The Fort Apache Band, Charlie
and Eddie Palmieri, Arsenio Rodriguez, Poncho Sanchez, Mongo Santamaria
attempts to bring a rock n' roll attitude and excitement to its
live performances, encouraging audience members to 'do their own
thing' on the dance floor in an effort to help listeners relate
to the music in a new way. In this way OTRA hopes to introduce many
new listeners to afro-cuban jazz...not by watering it down or fusing
it with hip-hop cliches, but with honest, passionate performances
that intrigue the ear and delight the soul!
I caught a little of Julio Y Cesar at the Lagniappe stage. I remember I enjoyed them last year, too. I love the music on their website.
It was a good 1st hour.