Montreal International Jazz Festival 2007

The 28th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival is taking place from June 28th to July 8th. I would have liked to have seen Angelique Kidjo, and I still hope to get tickets for theToumani Diabete show. In the meantime, I took in the high-energy Femi Kuti show…

Femi Kuti performing at Metropolis, July 2007

Seun Kuti and Egypt ’80, the original Fela Kuti group, played on Tuesday.

   Toumani Diabate

Toumani Diabate played the Spectrum on Friday with the Symmetric Orchestra, and that was for me the most enjoyable concert of the festival. Toumani Diabate comes from a long line of musicians, seventy-one generations of musical knowledge passed from generation to generation. He played with musicians from the various countries that exist today on the land that was once the ancient kingdom of Mali… 2 vocalists, keyboards, drums, bass, guitar, traditional African guitar, belafon, djembe. Symmetric Orchestra’s album was released last year asBoulevard de l’Independance.

Toumani Diabaté (Kora), Fodé Lassana Diabaté (Balafon), Toumani Diabate Symmetric Orchestra at Spectrum, July 2007

Soumaila Kanoute (Vocals)

Fodé Lassana Diabaté (Balafon)

Toumani Diabate’s previous album, In the Heart of the Moon, is a collaboration with the Malian singer and guitarist Ali Farka Touré. He has also recorded an album with Ballake Sissoko,New Ancient Strings. Other Diabate albums include Djelika and Kaira .

There is a feature on Toumani Diabate and the Symmetric Orchestra, including interviews and the full audio of 3 tracks at NPR.

[Edited from Photomedia Forum post by T.Neugebauer from July, 2007  ]