Daby Touré kicks off Summer Sessions on July 8 with his uplifting, fearless Afro-pop
Transcontinental Rhythms, July 8
Summer Sessions 2006 opens with four masters of African rhythm.
Daby Touré Hailing from Mauritania, the charismatic Daby Touré blends Parisian jazz and electronica, African beats, and international pop into a new Afro-centric sound. Touré's warm, melodic voice soars above powerful bass, percussion, and guitar as he recounts stories about relationships, family, freedom, and staying positive during hard times. Proud of his African roots but valuing creative freedom above all else, Touré's soulful style and soaring vocals have ignited audiences from Paris to Pittsburgh. 8:15–9:30 p.m., Courtyard Stage
Chris Berry and Panjea
Chris Berry is a California kid who moved to Africa, became a spirit caller, and went on to sell over a million records in Southern Africa. Berry's six-man band, Panjea, offers a pioneering blend of indigenous music, dance hall, and hip-hop that has earned them platinum albums in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and beyond. They mix an uplifting transcontinental message of hope with contagious dance beats based on the rhythms of the Zimbabwean mbira (thumb piano) and sacred Congolese ngoma drum. 6:30–7:15 p.m., Courtyard Stage
Dub Lab Soundsystem
The Los Angeles DJ collective spins African music in all its forms—Afrobeat, high life, hip-hop, blues, gospel, and soul. Crossing genres and defying classification, each DJ digs deep to find rare gems and fulfill the group's mission to share beautiful music and bring dance floors to a boil. 5:45–6:30 p.m. and 7:45–8:15 p.m., South Courtyard
Najite & Olokun Prophecy
Led by Nigerian master percussionist Najite Agindotan, the Los Angeles-based Najite & Olokun Prophecy (N.O.P.) has kept authentic Afrobeat and African jazz alive for the better part of two decades. Over the years, many of Southern California's best instrumentalists have lent their talent to the ensemble, and the current band represents a cross-generational accumulation of their spirit and wisdom. N.O.P.'s joyfully defiant music stresses that despite all obstacles, the human spirit will not only persevere, it will celebrate. 7:15–8:15 p.m., Garden Terrace
Music Samples Hear an excerpt from "Iris" from Daby Touré's CD Diam (2004, Real World Records).
Hear an excerpt from "Axe Forgets" from Chris Berry & Panjea's CD Shine (2005, Nuvibe Records).
Hear an excerpt from "Honesty" from Najite's CD Africa Before Invasion (2004, Plug Research).
Chris Berry and Panjea (top) bring their high-energy mix to the Getty Center on July 8; follow the exuberant drum sounds to the Garden Terrace for Najite & Olokun Prophecy (bottom)
Global Delights, July 15
The rich melodies of the Indian subcontinent combine with electronica and trip-hop for an evening of cross-cultural grooves.
DJ, drummer, singer-songwriter, producer, remix artist—Karsh Kale does it all, combining musical intelligence with ghazal vocals, hip-hop beats, and guitar riffs into sonically rich "tablatronica." A major force in the intercontinental Asian Massive club phenomenon, New York-based Kale creates a conscious fusion of Asian and Western music, mixing everything from rock ballads, hip-hop, and lounge tracks backed
by dreamy sitar strings into state-of-the-art cross-cultural music with an urban sensibility. 8:15–9:30 p.m., Courtyard Stage
Dhamaal Soundsystem makes the dance floor bounce with an Asian-influenced
sound weaving original tracks, homemade bootlegs, and floor-stomping
world music. This San Francisco-based DJ artist collective blends Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan percussion, voices, and strings into electronic performance art voted Best of the Bay by readers of the San
Francisco Bay Guardian. 6:30–7:30 p.m., Courtyard Stage
Paul Livingstone and Arohi Ensemble From sitar to guitar, Persian to pop, jazz to Javanese—Paul Livingstone and Arohi Ensemble do it all. These masterful musicians create a hypnotic, cosmopolitan blend of North Indian classical music, world beat, and strings featuring Eastern and Western instruments and a relaxed jazz sensibility. 7:30–8:15 p.m., Garden Terrace
Dub Lab Soundsystem
The Los Angeles DJ collective spins Bollywood hits from the '60s. 5:45–6:30 p.m. and 7:45–8:15 p.m., South Courtyard
Please note that due to unforseen circumstances, Bombay Dub Orchestra will no longer be performing as part of Summer Sessions.
Hear an excerpt from "Dancing at Sunset" from Karsh Kale's CD Broken English (2006, Six Degrees Records).
Hear an excerpt from "Podi Menike"
by Janaka Selekta of Dhamaal Soundsystem.
Hear an excerpt from "There's a Day" from Paul Livingstone's CD Salaam Suite (2006, Raga Jazz Music).
Karsh Kale (top) brings his bleeding-edge mix of Indian melodies, pop, and hip-hop to the Getty Center on July 15; dance away to the exhilarating electronic music of Janaka Selekta (middle) and Dhamaal Soundsystem; string master Paul Livingstone (bottom) dazzles on the sitar, requinto, and fretless guitar
Photo top: Michael Muller
Photo bottom: Jay Matsueda
21st-Century Roots, July 22
Summer Sessions 2006 closes with an evening of utterly danceable, highly addictive roots music for the new millennium.
International folk dance lessons with instructor Beverly Barr 5:45–6:30 p.m. and 7:15–7:45 p.m., South Courtyard
Brave Combo is no ordinary polka ensemble. How many other pan-cultural dance bands have played at David Byrne's wedding, appeared in animated form on The Simpsons, and recorded with Tiny Tim? Believing in peace through dance, the five musicians mash up rhythms from Mexico to Germany to Japan, blending enthusiasm with guitar-shredding stagemanship that gets even the glummest listeners dancing. In short, Brave Combo is "a respite from the troubles of the world," says band leader Carl Finch. 8:15–9:30 p.m, Courtyard Stage
This New York band blends klezmer, Yiddish folk music, Russian lyrics, and other non-Western rhythms, transforming the music of their Jewish grandparents into modern, edgy, sexy, brash rock. The brainchild of accordionist and singer Annette Ezekiel, Golem is a monster stumbling through Jewish music, shaking things up yet remaining true to the tradition. 7:15–8:15 p.m., Garden Terrace
moira smiley & VOCO
The post-folk vocal symphonies of moira smiley & VOCO mix the energy of street singing with the precision of a string quartet. Rooted in the wild dance-song of Eastern Europe and and the sweet, lonesome tunes of Appalachia, their music delights with the amazing spectrum of the voice, while also incorporating body percussion sets, improvisation, and a playful combination of cello and banjo. 6:30–7:15 p.m., Courtyard Stage
Hear an excerpt from "Bumble Bee" from Brave Combo's 25th-anniversary CD Let's Kiss (2004, Dentone Records).
Hear an excerpt from "Ushti Baba" from Golem's forthcoming CD Fresh Boat (2006, JDub Records).
Hear an excerpt from "Deep Blue" from moira smiley & VOCO's CD Blink (2006, MoraMusic, BMI).
On tap for July 22: Brave Combo (top), "the Led Zeppelin of horn-and-accordion-based ensembles," Golem (middle), a newer, hipper vision of Jewish roots music, and moira smiley & VOCO, a fiery roots band combining improvisation, funk, and playfulness
Photo top: Lori Young Photo middle: Emily Keegin