Nite 2

by wjw on September 30, 2015

I saw fewer new acts the second night of Globalquerque, but that’s because some of the first night’s performers returned.  I’ll skip over those and get straight to the folks I hadn’t seen before.

Tony Duncan is one of the talented Duncan brothers, all hoop dancers, and has won the World Champion Hoop Dancer award five times.   I didn’t actually see him dance at Globalquerque, he played the flute and also shared the stage with a storyteller, but the hoop dancing is awesomely cool and that’s the video I show here.

Jah9 is a way of spelling “Janine,” which is her actual name.  She’s the daughter of a Baptist minister who was turned onto Rastafarianism in college.  This video, which features didactic lyrics over a cool reggae beat, is typical of what I saw of her performance.

Kassé Mady Diabaté is an senior statesman of Malian music, a griot who brought with him an extraordinarily accomplished band.  His set was hypnotic and intimate, and the audience reaction to each of his songs was gigantic.  Maybe you had to have been there, but I was glad I was where I was.

Nigerian Afro-funk pioneer Orlando Julius has been recording at least since Super Afro Soul back in the Sixties, an album which wrapped American soul and R&B in Nigerian garb.  He’s collaborated with Hugh Masakela and the Crusaders, and he turned up at the festival with his wonderfully-named band, the Heliocentrics.

San Antonio native Alejandro Escovedo was a member of the Nuns, a punk band that had the distinction of once opening for the Sex Pistols.  Since then he’s been a member of country/punk bands Rank and File and the True Believers, and now has a solo career based in Austin.

He turned up with only another guitar player, and I was deeply impressed by his performance.  Here he is with “Sally Was a Cop.”

Dang, man.

So Angola has this complicated musical and political relationship with Congo, and Congo has a complicated musical and political relationship with Cuba.  Ricardo Lemvo, of Angolan descent and raised in Congo, throws all these elements into a big ol’ stew pot and comes up with the sort of thing you hear here.

He sings in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Lingala, and Kikongo, and he’s at home in samba and salsa and semba and kizomba and soukous because if you do this sort of thing that’s the sort of thing what you gotta do.

Now all these artists were terrific, but the festival as a whole left me with an enormous complaint: Where were my accordions?  This is the one damn place I can go every year and hear some lunatic play some weird funked-out accordion shit, and this year there was nothing!

Next year Globalquerque better bring the accordions back, mofos!  And I’m not kidding, neither!

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