5 June • MKC Dancing Hall, 20:00
BLICK BASSY guitar, lead vocal
CLÉMENT PETIT cello, voice
ARNO DE CASANOVE trumpet, keyboards, voice
The Guardian calls Blick Bassy “one of Africa’s most inventive and distinctive singer-songwriters.” The Cameroon-born, Paris-based guitarist/vocalist weaves together African traditions, Latin forms like bossa nova, and Mississippi blues with soaring melodies and a haunting, delicate, and devastating voice. He sings in Bassa, one of 260 Cameroonian languages. His moving songs are emotionally and politically-charged, backed by an idiosyncratic instrumentation of cello, trumpet, and trombone. There is a serious political background to his new album “1958”: in that year, Ruben Um Nyobé, the leader of Cameroon's fight for independence, was shot dead by colonial French troops. Bassy remembers him, while also highlighting the connection with the present, to the Cameroon of today. The country may be independent but it is still governed by an authoritarian regime that suppresses the remembrance of activists such as Nyobé. A contemporary borderless sound that is both a declaration of independence and an act of defiance.