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Brazilian beats and Cameroonian slam

By Daniel Brown

Carlinhos Brown, or "Carlito Marron" as he likes to be called, is one of Brazil's most dynamic percussionists

, as well as being a singer, producer and cultural promoter. Hailing from Salvador de Bahia, Brown has energy to sell. The 48-year-old has been actively involved in schooling kids in the slums of his native Candeal neighborhood for over a decade.

In 2002, he began collaborating with Brazilian stars Marisa Monte and Arnaldo Antunes in his group Tribalistas. He teamed up with them again five years later for record releases that mixed his percussions with electronica and booming beats.

They reflect his ability to mix sophisticated modern beats with ancestral rhythms that his mentor Osvaldo Alves da Silvia taught him four decades ago.

Brown continues to work hard to promote his ancestral roots and now has engaged some of the disenfranchised youth of Bahia in his Pracatum school.

His wild live performance with a band that reminds some of The Village People are still strong favourites in summer festival circuits.

When he was interviewed at the Timitar festival in the Moroccan town of Agadir, the mercurial artist tripped over himself in four or five languages, such was his desire to communicate…

This desire to share a vision of the world is found with slam poet Ze Jam Afane, who is from the Bulu community in south Cameroon.

He has settled into a rich if complex existence in exile in Reims, to the east of Paris, where he composed an ambitious and brave album called L'Homme Avion. It features an audacious exchange with the cello played by Vincent Courtois.

In mid-March, Afane enjoyed an equally fruitful collaboration with one of France's most articulate singers Emilie Loizeau. It was part of the homage paid by the Cité de la Musique in Paris to Georges Brassens.

This is a fitting tribute to Afane's highly original poetry.

 

Albums played by World Tracks on Radio France Internationale.
1) Laru Beya, Aurelio Martinez (Stonetree Records/Real World), Honduras.
2) Chemsi, Hijaz ((Zephyrus), various, based in Belgium.
3) Bahamas: Goombay 1951-59, compilation (Frémeaux & Associés, Bahamas.
4) Makenba, Majid Bekkas (Sowarex asbl), Morocco.
5) Studio 105, Mayra Andrade (Sony Music), Cape Verde.
6) Tirtha, Vijay Iyer (Act Music), USA/ India.
7) Songs of Freedom, Nguyen Le (Act Music), France/ Vietnam.
8) Efemera, Tulipa Ruiz (Totolo), Brazil.
9) Las 7 Salves de La Magdalena, Raquel Rivera & Ojos de Sofia (self-produced), USA.
10) Cartagena! Curro Fuentes & the Big Band (Soundway), Colombia.

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