Sub-Saharan chamber music and the Louverture project for Toussaint

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We welcome 4 guys: Christophe Cagnolari and Sekouba Bambino for the Afriquatuors project, then Sorg and Napoleon Maddox for the album “openingdedicated to Toussaint Louverture.

Our first guests are musicians Christophe Cagnolari and singer Sekouba Bambino of Afriquatuors. Videos.

Afriquatuors were the first (or nearly) chamber music ensemble dedicated to African music.

It echoes the mythical big orchestral era of the 1960s and 80s, when juju, electric rumba and soukous music were invented.

Afriquatuors TGP St Denis 2021. © Africolor

Entrusting the two quartets – one for the strings, the other for the wind – with the daring mission of making this dance music groove, it was a question of unlocking the potential of this sub-Saharan classical orchestra, and of reinventing the sound of Ballou Canta, Sam Mangwana Where Sekouba Bambino when they mingle with European classical instruments. In this gathering, electric guitars become pizzicati violins, melismas musical melodies become clarinets, and drum ports smoke from gold coast cello cases.

Between Paris and Brazzaville, Berlin and Lagos, Afriquuors is an invitation to enter more than one room, the pan-African philharmonic hall where we finally have the right to sit at the table.

Ballou Canta TGP St Denis 2021.
Ballou Canta TGP St Denis 2021. © Africolor

Song plays, extract from Afriquatuors album

– Balaksang Sekouba Bambino

– Status Matervocals by Tina Kloutse

– Mail Suite 1vocals of Ballou Canta, Sam Mangwana

– Love Medinasinging Ballou Canta.

► Scrapbook Afriquartet (Idol/Comet Tail 2022).

Then we have Sorg & Napoleon Maddox for album release Louverture.

Sorg & Napoleon Maddox.
Sorg & Napoleon Maddox. © Laurence Aloir/RFI

The tireless French-American duo is back with their 2nd album openingconcept album inspired by the struggles of Haitian generals Louvertur Toussaint. It’s been almost 10 years since the rapper Napoleon Maddox distills his cutting edge on beatmaker productions Sorg. Their first song Wild West (2013) recently featured by Netflix in the French series “Braqueurs”. Their discography includes several EPs, the first album “Contact us(2018), and various collaborations with renowned artists such as Gaël Faye, Hamid Drake, Marc Cary, Dobet Gnahoré, Cheick Tidiane Seck, etc.

Cincinnati (Ohio) activist and poet Napoleon Maddox, leader of the group IsWhat?! and members of the group BadFat and Papanosh recently settled in France in Besançon, stronghold of producer Sorg, particularly known for his remixes of Rone waving.

Sorg, Jowee Omicil and Napoleon Maddox.
Sorg, Jowee Omicil and Napoleon Maddox. © Sorg

It is in this work to open the doors of history, to explore and share Toussaint Louverture’s life around the worlds of jazz, electro and hip-hop. A powerful symbol of Louverture’s history, a black Haitian general who fought for the revolutionary French army then against the reestablishment of slavery before ending his life at the Château de Joux imprisoned by Bonaparte, resonates especially in the general history of African Americans.

Initially, Louverture de Toussaint was a scenic creation project motivated by the American singer’s residence as an associate artist in Besançon, supported and co-produced by SMAC La Rodia and Le Moloco. Napoleon Maddox, his real name, chose to take inspiration from the tales of the Haitian general to create a quartet with Sorg, Canadian-Haitian multi-instrumentalist Jowee Omicil, and Malian pianist Cheick Tidiane Seck, who was eventually replaced by Franco-Haitian jazz player Carl-Henri Morisset. The premiere of this show took place at the Château de Joux under the walled window of the cell where Louverture died. Sorg & Napoleon Maddox then decided to make an album, called “Louverture”, in which we find musicians Jowee Omicil, Carl-Henri Morisset or rapper Marc Nammour from the group La Canaille.

Self-titled single and music videoopening» filmed at the Château de Joux, the jazzy and tasteful title, marked the beginning of the album. It is a journey through time, with atmospheric sound, echoing the story of this extraordinary freedom fighter.

Sorg, Jowee Omicil, Cheick Tidiane Seck and Napoleon Maddox.
Sorg, Jowee Omicil, Cheick Tidiane Seck and Napoleon Maddox. © Sorg

The song being played is taken from the album opening

– Louvertur

– Letter

-Trayison Achievement. Jowee Omicil

-Bone Achievement. Marc Namour.

► Scrapbook opening (No sugar records/L’Autre Distribution 2022).

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