Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 2 – Kaseko

see also Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 1 – Billy Jones & The Twinkle Stars

Kaseko

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kaseko-5.jpg

Take a blaring fanfare from New Orleans parading during a funeral. Blend it with a snappy calypso. Then add swinging Latin rhythms from South America. Add a hint of African rhumba and combine all this with the question and answer patterns from West African music …. and what is cooking in today’s post? Kaseko! A real melting pot of styles that represents the roots of Africa and Holland in South America perfectly, and without any doubt the most danceable music from the former Dutch colony across the Atlantic Ocean.

Kaseko is a corruption of the French “casser les corps”, which means as much as ‘break their arms/body’. And even after all those years it is still the most popular Surinamese dance music, derived from traditional Surinamese Creole kawina music, as played by Creole street musicians in Paramaribo since the early 1900s. That is clearly the link to New Orleans street fanfares….but Kaseko is not defined that easily at all. Read on….

from Kawina to Kaseko

Kaseko is based on two important elements of traditional kawina music: the patterns of question and answer singing and the use of percussion instruments. The most important percussion instrument is the skratjie, consisting of a large drum / pauk with a cymbal on it. This indicates the basic rhythm. The name literally means trestle and indicates that this drum is usually placed on a wooden rack. In the 1920s and 1940s, under the influence of the New Orleans Jazz, Surinamese folk melodies simultaneously improvised on brass wind instruments. The typical roll pattern on the snare was contrasted by loose, varying beats on the bass drum. This ‘bigi poku’ was also played at folk dance parties by members of the Military Chapel out of service. After the Second World War this form of music was strongly influenced by Latin American music and calypso, which resulted in a new Surinamese type of music that was called kaseko and quickly became popular. The influence of rock and pop music complemented the percussion instruments with western pop music instruments, such as an electric guitar, a bass guitar and a drum set. The use of the electric organ also increased.

Sranantongo

No fewer than twenty languages are spoken in Suriname. Most Surinamese are multilingual. Sranantongo is the lingua franca, besides the Sarnami Hindustani (Surinamese Hindustani), the Javanese different Maroon languages (especially Saramaccan and Aukan) Chinese (Hakka, Standard Mandarin and Standard Cantonese)

Here are 10 favorites from my personal collection

The first two recordings are pure Kawina, drums and chant. The following tracks are typical styles of Kaseko, most are sung in Sranantongo, and the track ‘Jimmy’s lazerus’ being sung in Dutch!

listen to the podcast Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 2 – Kaseko MIX

total time 52:32

1) Sopiang Kawina -Kolibrie
2) Sopiang Kawina -Opete Kwasi
3) Orchestra Tropical -Tata Vodoe
4) The King Stars -A Sina Maro
5) The Mighty Botai -Boesi Gado
6) The Mighty Botai -Boesi Jepi
7) The Action Stars -Fyamang
8) J. Jones & The Action Stars -Jong Boy Boyo
9) Sonora Paramarera con Lord Bamboo -El Yo Yo
10) Kaseko Masters -Aisa Vodoe
11) Ricky -Poeirie
12) Sonora Paramarera con Lord Bamboo -Jimmy’s Lazerus
13) Kaseko Masters -Veanti
14) The King Stars -Boto e Lolo

Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 1 – Billy Jones & The Twinkle Stars

summer 2019 is here! A perfect moment to highlight the rich music culture of Suriname in weekly episodes. After all, the South American country is a melting pot of many peoples including Creoles, the descendants of enslaved Africans.

First, some history….


Suriname has a little more than half a million inhabitants. In addition to the original Native Paleo Indian population, the country’s largest population groups are Hindustani, of Indian descent, often Hindu but also Muslim, Creoles, Marrons, descendants of liberated and escaped slaves and Javanese from Indonesia. There are also many Chinese, Lebanese, Jews and Boeroes, descendants of Dutch settlers.

The first successful European colonization took place from 1650 by the Englishman Francis Willoughby. Freedom of religion was arranged to attract planters. The English started planting plantations in Suriname, using slaves as workers. Initially, the colonizers tried to use the indigenous population as slaves. This failed due to high mortality and resistance. Then planters decided to import slaves from Africa and partly from other colonies. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, in 1667, the Dutch conquered Suriname from the English. The Dutch handed over the then newly discovered colony called New Netherlands to the English in 1674, who call it New York. In exchange for this, the Netherlands received Suriname from the English. Slavery in the Dutch colony Suriname was only abolished on July 1, 1863. The country became independent in 1975, known as the Republic of Suriname.

Suri-Funk

The Twinkle Stars

Funk and soul music are hugely popular styles in Surinam, widely known as Suri-Funk. The most famous and beloved band is undoubtedly The Twinkle Stars, also working under the name The Stars. This soul-pop group was formed in the 2nd half of the Sixties, made up of eight musicians plus soloist singer Oscar Harris. The group became very famous and appreciated in the Netherlands. Members were Alfred Ommen, band leader, Edmond Oosthuizen, rhythm guitarist & singer, Ricardo Wouden, drums and singer Oscar Harris as frontman. In the 70’s vocalists Billy Jones, Humphrey Campbell, Ruud Seedorf became members. Their music is a mix of Funk, Rhythm & Blues and Kaseko. The latter is a fusion of African, European and American styles, strongly influenced by Dixieland, Calypso, Rock & Roll and other styles, whose instruments include the use of drums, saxophone , trumpet and, sometimes, a trombone. The Twinkle Stars disbanded officially in 1973 but regrouped few times for live-shows and recording sessions until 1980.

Although The Twinkle Stars had many hits I would like to focus on a rather curious, even bizarre single that came out in 1971, Mr. Astronout. This song is loosely based on Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, with plenty of spacey weirdness and Oscar Harris singing ‘if Mr. Astronout had seen my baby on the moon?’. Surely a cash-in on the Apollo 11 space travels from a few years earlier….

Oscar Harris And The Twinkle Stars ‎– Mr. Astronout / Wake Up With You
Blue Elephant ‎– BE 24.008-G.

One of the best recordings by The Twinkle Stars is with Billy Jones, an American singer. His real name is William Oran Willie Bill Jones and he was born in Denison, Texas USA on November 20,1945. Billy Jones started his career singing gospel in church. He also toured the USA as a member of the Army Air Defense Command Choral Group.

In late 1968 he settled in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He soon became a vocalist with Oscar Harris And The Twinkle Stars, where he stayed off and on until 1980.

Billy Jones & The Stars- Love Is Gonna Rain On You (Imperial LP, Album, RE (1977)

Featuring some superb funk cuts like “Funky monkey”, “Thank you” (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Sly & Family Stone track), “All my brothers are clean” and “Message from a black man” !!!

Another rarity is this single ‘We Want Peace’ a Suri-funk gem that was released in Barbados on the obscure Merry DIsc label in 1973. Backed by ‘Jerusalem’, a typical example of that other most popular Surinamese dance style; Kaseko. More on that in the next episode of Soul Safari’s Caribbean Surinam Summer 2019….

source; Soul Safari archives/Wikipedia/Discogs

Brokers show on The Word Belgian Radio -guest dj Soul Safari

LISTEN….I was invited as guest dj for the 2nd hour of the program BROKERS on Belgian radio station The Word. These nice guys gave me carte blanche for a selection of personal favorite tunes….thanks Oswald Moris for the great introduction and your seamless selection of timeless disco/boogie/electro tunes. LOVE!!

All records in the 2nd hour of the BROKERS show from my own collection, vinyl only!! Listen to this mix filled with ultra rare South-African, Nigerian, Liberian & Brazilian grooves. Some really funky Disco rarities too. And to top it off the 2nd hour closes with a previously unreleased remix of one of my own productions; ‘Changes’ with Sylvia Kristel (RIP), a mellow sexy funky mix by Zuco 102. Yes, that is the Brazilian band Zuco103 minus 1. This remix is yet to be released. All vinyl, all good! Make sure to check my blog on Africa, ‘Soul Safari’: https://soulsafari.wordpress.com/

tracklist 2nd Hour The Word Brokers -EDDY DE CLERCQ

The Drive – Iphi Intombi Yam pts 1 + 2
The Jazz Clan – Oh Happy Day
Salah Ragab – Egypt Strut
Kindred Spirit & Corina Flamma Sherman – Inner Languages
Kindred Spirit & Corina Flamma Sherman – Put Your Spirit Up
Luisito Quintero feat. Francis Mbappe – Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo (Roots Mute Mix)
Ray Munnings – Funky Nassau
Freddi Hench & The Soulsetters – I Like Funky Music
Chocolate Milk – Who’s Getting It Now
Tom Scott and the L.A. Express – Jump Back
Jackie Moore – Heart Be Still
Patti & The Emblems – It’s The Little Things
Patrick Moraz – Rana Batucada
EDC & Friends feat. Sylvia Kristel – Changes (Zuco 102 Mix)

Listen here to the full 2 hours Brokers show with the first hour by resident dj Oswald Moris, followed by my own mix of ultra rare South-African, Nigerian, Liberian & Brazilian grooves. Some really funky Disco rarities too….enjoy!

Catchy rhythms from Nigeria 1959

one of the great finds during my latest digging trip in South Africa….what a beautiful collection of Calypso, Highlife, Mambo!! No date of release mentioned on label nor cover but all recordings stem from the mid to end of the 50s according to the liner notes.

This 10″ release follows volume 1 released earlier by Dutch Philips Records. And combines with another rare release which I have already reviewed in an earlier post

FreedomFanfare-TheBandoftheNigerianPolice

Victor Oly-lya and his Cool Cats -Cool Cats Invitation

Ishie Brothers -Onyeama Rosa

Sammy Akpabot and his All Stars -Save For A Rainy Day

Julius O. Araba and his Rhythm Blues -Olawafuja Sawa

Victor Ola-lya and his Cool Cats -Omolanke




Ganiyu Kale and his Guinea Mambo Orchestra -Iyawo-ile

Ishie Brothers -Mafara, kusa da sokoto

Baby Face Paul and his Top-Poppers -Ayakata

Joe Nez and his Trio -Nsonma nnem

Victor Olalya and his Cool Cats -Mumude

If you like these sounds then do check out this wonderful compilation on Soul Jazz Records.

Various ‎– Nigeria Freedom Sounds! (Popular Music & The Birth Of Independent Nigeria 1960-63)

Cyclone Idai has devastated southern Africa’s most vulnerable region

Cyclone Idai: Death toll passes 500 in southern Africa



Cyclone Idai has devastated the Mozambican city of Beira and turned it into an inland lake. The city of 500,000 people is at the epicenter of one of the worst natural disasters to hit southern Africa in decades.

By Lynsey ChutelMarch 22, 2019

Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe are still coming to terms with the immediate impact and aftermath of the storm, a week after it made landfall on southeast Africa’s coast, ripping through the region at speeds of up to 194 km (120 miles) an hour. An estimated 1,6 million people are believed to be affected, towns and villages remain submerged, and the death toll in the three countries has surpassed 500.

Idai’s timing and target could not have been worse, hitting already vulnerable communities in some of the continent’s poorest countries just before harvesting season.

The extent of the inland flooding from Beira.

Floodwaters spilling out from the region’s Pungue and Buzi rivers now cover a massive 2,165 sq km-area (834 square miles), according to the UN, far exceeding the width of the initial storm. The water levels created inland islands, marooning hundreds of people across the region, and stretching rescue operations.

Flooding from Idai has almost completely submerged Beira, cutting it off from the rest of the country. The emergency wing of its central hospital is non-operational, a major grain terminal has been damaged, and dam has collapsed outside of the city, according to the UN’s Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

“Beira is pretty much paralyzed, with many…going hungry, and without food and shelter,” resident Samuel Fenis told the UN Environment agency. At least 242 people have died in Mozambique alone. As the extent of the damage unfolds, it’s becoming clear that president Filipe Nyusi’s estimate that as many as 1,000 people are dead could be confirmed.

Cut off in Mozambique.
Destruction in Beira.

After making landfall in Mozambique, Idai travelled more than 300 km (186 miles) to Zimbabwe, killing at least 139 people, with dozens more still missing. It travelled across Sofala and Manica provinces, leaving behind flooding so severe that entire villages have been wiped out. The area remains inaccessible, with an estimated 100,000 people stranded, according to the UN, making it difficult to ascertain the true extent of the damage. As rescue workers wade through the disaster zone, there are reports of people still huddling on rooftops, waiting to be rescued. Families have resorted to digging through mudslides to find their relatives still trapped.

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared two days of national mourning. Already facing a protracted economic crisisand food shortages, Zimbabwe has issued desperate calls for aid and assistance in rescue missions.

“Whatever crops that were being grown despite the drought have now been destroyed in the floods, and these districts will need the help of the international community now more than ever,” Paolo Cernuschi, Zimbabwe country director at the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement.

The cyclone did not cross into Malawi, but the resulting floods killed at least 56 people, and displaced 82,700.

A family dig for their son in Zimbabwe.
Rescuers in Zimbabwe.

Aid agencies have made desperate appeals for funding, revealing the extent of the devastation. The World Food Programme says it needs $121 million to help those affected in Mozambique alone. The UN aid agency’s operations in Malawi will require $10.3 million for just two months of assistance. In Zimbabwe, $5 million will be needed to provide food, logistical support and a response in the affected districts where 90% of property has been damaged.

UNFPA and Unicef have also dispatched teams to the region to assist women and children, whose vulnerability is exacerbated in disasters such as this.

Most vulnerable.

The storm’s impact shows the need for better preparedness and warning systems, the UN environment agency has said. As the extent of the damage wreaked by Idai is revealed, state and non-governmental agencies are flocking to the affected region to help, and discovering that Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe will need far more than expected.

Source: Quartz Africa Weekly Brief x


see also Cabaret at The Moçambique

see also Lost Dreams; Grande Hotel Beira, Mozambique

see also João Tudella canta musica de Artur Fonseca-Uma Casa Portuguesa w/ the Dan Hill Quintet

Legendary singer Dorothy Masuka dies at 83

Dorothy Masuka at 60

Dorothy Masuka was one of the great South African jazz singers of the 1950s. Together with Dolly Rathebe and Miriam Makeba she became an iconic singer and writer of memorable tunes like Pata Pata, Kwawuleza and Into Yam. Many of her songs were recorded by artists like Makeba.

“ Her music was the soundtrack of some our most joyful moments, the light of or souls during our darkest hours” said Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s Arts & Culture minister following her death.

Masuka had been suffering from complications related to hypertension, after having a mild stroke in 2018. One of her last stage performances was at Winnie Mandela’s funeral in that same year.

Go Go Suffering

Dorothy Masuka was born in 1935 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Her parents migrated to South Africa when she was 12 years old. Despite her parents’ disapproval, Masuka dropped out of school at 16 to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer.

She signed a deal to record with Troubadour Records and after a spell with the African Ink Spots she left for Zimbabwe to join The Golden Rhythm Crooners. But she was soon on her way back to Johannesburg and in the train she penned ‘Hamba Hamba Nontsokolo’ loosely translated as ‘go, go suffering’.

The song became her biggest hit and one of the most popular songs of the 1950s. It is regarded as an African classic and remains her signature tune to this day. By 1953, when she was 18, Masuka was already a fully fledged professional musician and, along with Makeba and Hugh Masekela, she toured with Alf Herbert’s African Jazz & Variety Show and with the musical King Kong.

She also performed with the Harlem Swingsters in the mid-1950s and endeared herself to a wide audience with her provocative compositions that riled the apartheid regime. In 1961, the Special Branch seized the master recordings of her composition ‘Lumumba’ which paid tribute to Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Congo. She also dared to write a political song about the then Prime Minister Dr Malan and was exiled for over 30 years. In Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and the UK Masuka campaigned for the liberation of SA through her music.

After many years working as a flight attendant for Zambian Airways, she returned to South Africa at the beginning of the 1990’s. A few years later she was a recipient of the Order of Ikhamanga Silver from the SA government. Dorothy Masuka was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in the US in 2002.

source; The Sowetan/The Herald -Kyle Zeeman

see also

Dorothy Masuka -60 years and counting

South African Soul Divas pt 2 Dorothy Masuka, Mahotella Queens, Irene & The Sweet Melodians

South African Soul Divas pt 3 Dolly Rathebe, Mabel Mafuya, Nancy Jacobs, Eva Madison

African Jazz & Variety -Alfred Herbert 1952

Old Routes New Routes 2019 -World festival Amsterdam

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3897596d-cbd6-47d6-b1fe-f6d9b2d42045.jpg

From Saturday 5 January 2019, the second edition of Old Root New Routes will start with a festive New Year’s Concert in Amsterdam in the Amstel Church by Karima el Fillali with members of the Amsterdam Andalusian Orchestra.

This second edition of Old Roots New Routes again offers space for a new ‘underground’ with a series of concerts of remarkable semi-acoustic music companies. They are rooted in Africa, the Maghreb, the Middle East and South America and have blossomed in the Dutch clay in recent years. 

Tamala

Tamala, one of the performing groups blends Senegalese musical heritage with Western modern influences. Surely one of my favorites, a concert not to miss….

Tamala
Travelers between North and South

Barely one year old the group Tamala won two prestigious prizes for their debut album plus a performance at the famous British WOMAD Festival. The passionate trio brings an innovative repertoire, which propagates the Senegalese musical heritage and feeds on the eclectic input of Mola Sylla, Bao Sissoko and Wouter Vandenabeele. The texts of Tamala (‘traveler’ in Mandinka) are about personal questions, poetic journeys and a call to openness to others and respect for the environment. Tamala takes you on a journey where the sounds of violin and kora merge, and where Sylla’s voice is the guide that reveals the deepest of the soul.

Musicians:
Bao Sissoko (kora), Mola Sylla (vocals, xalam), Wouter Vandenabeele (violin)

Ticket sales for the concerts have now started.