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Lincoln Center rooting for the Caribbean

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Lee,Simon (Author)
Newspaper Article
Publication Date:
Miami, FL
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Jamaica, Blacks, New York (City), Caribbean, Music, Culture, reggae, Musical performances, Minority & ethnic groups
The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, a group of Nyabinghi ceremonial drummers founded by the legendary Count Ossie in the 1950s, is not only making its New York debut but is raising the curtain on the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' "Caribbean Roots: Caribbean Routes" festival. Chris Combette, who has been collaborating with Mungal Patasar on several tracks for his new album, opened the show with his beautiful fusion of Caribbean styles - samba, salsa, soca, bossa nova, reggae and zouk sweeping over the auditorium like warm waves. Based in French Guiana, bordering Brazil, Combette has soaked up the melodies of the region, while his lyrics address the nostalgia or alienation of the immigrant, and racist murder in the metropole. Beneath his sinuous, sometimes ethereal music lurked incisive Kwéyol irony and melancholy metaphors. It was left to Kali and his banjo to bring down the curtain on the festival with his brilliant reworking of Martiniquan traditional music, mazurk, biguine, chouval bwa, gwo ka (from Guadeloupe) with reggae, funk and jazz. It was good to hear St. Lucian Luther François, one of the Caribbean's foremost contemporary composers and sax players, adding punch to this excellent band and the finale of a significant festival for Caribbean music.