Zouglou is a form of music particular to Cote d’Ivoire, and can be heard in the clubs of Deux Plateaux, coming from the back of the minibus returning from Grand Basaam or anywhere really that young Ivorians gather. Its the voice of the people, spontaneous lyrics, and observations can be heard passing between lead vocalist and chorus in a round robin format. Subject matter can range from catching a girls attention to commentary on social or political issues, often with a dash of humor. The insightfulness of the words crowns the champion of these good natured clashes.
Audience at the Esplanade Lagunaire stage enjoying a performance
Sali Djeli Minding griot and singer
Junior Toure led us to the outskirts ofAbidjan, the Ananerale neighborhood of Yopougon to hear a marvelous Manding singer, Sali Djeli. In the late afternoon, the party was just getting underway with colorfully dressed local women gathering under a tent on a side street as the day cooled.
Matthieu Martin leader of the band Nainako from Madagascar, a family group from the southern region of Androy. Very traditonal in song content and musical approach. Nainako's polyphonic vocal teqhnique with all four members singing in unison was accopanied by lokanga a three stringed violin, guitar, bass, and Cajon box.
Fannie Fayer, Congo Brazzaville w Claude Koulou guitar, Celnar Nsaye bass, Paraclet Ndzila piano and Christ Bounfounia drums
Ayana Bolingo Cote d'Ivoire
Nuit du Zouglou, presented masters of the Ivorian genre and brought MASA to a close. Yode and Siro, Petit Denis, Espoir 2000 and Moliere performed, as well as Malian Mandingo griot Amy Koita, and the all female group Deya.
Petit Denis performing at the Palais de laCulture on Zouglou Night backed by the Force de Frappe Zouglou band
Petit Denis, a star of Zouglou, a popular form of Ivorian music that often addresses social issues. In a song calling for Africa to unite, the names of Kwame Nkrumah, Samory Toure and Nelson Mandela were cited before concluding the verse with the name of Laurent Gbagbo stirring a reaction of mixed surprise and support for the former President whose refusal to accept election results led to civil fighting.
Espoir 2000, Pat Sacko and Valery
In the hands of the masters of the genre the mood of the nation is expressed, Yode and Siro, Petit Denis, Espoir 2000, and Moliere are artists who stood the test of some difficult times and the 4000 seat Espace Anoumabo was jammmed with fans who sang the refrain in response to their lyrics.
Traditional Manding street party, featuring Sali Djeli under a tent in the Ananeraie quarter of Yopougon where she lives. It was just getting underway in the late afternoon.
Etienne Innocent Serge La Thron, a master traditional drummer formerly with the National Ballet de Cote d’Ivoire, has a new project, a family drum ensemble that 8 of his sons and a female dancer. He draws on his local tradition from Dabou in the south, on the Ebrie lagoon, 40 km from Abidjan as well as the dances of regional cultures learned during his time with the National Ballet. Mr. La Thon makes all the drums himself using frêne(white ash), including the large tambou royale made from a single tree, and the speaker drum (Male and female).
Abidjan group Yakomin, Pierre Boffouo Kouame, Mahan Madaca,Khadi Sow Epse Sidibe(dance), GillesKuoissoa, Sax Kap, and N'zoré Koffi N'zian, blend modern and traditional sounds that cover a lot musical ground, shifting from an Ivorian Jazz to more percussion driven dance numbers. Flutes, sax and understated guitar playing with balafon, hand drum and percussion.
Rama (Alimatou Diakite),a young mandinke artist from Burkina Faso performing at 2018 MASA festival in Abidjan.
From Burkina Faso, Rama has become well known since first coming to the public's attention on a televised singing competiton in 2008, following the release of her first album "Mougnou" in 2014 she is reaching wider audiences, guided by Ouagadougou arts advocate "Commander Papus Zongo" . The young singer has come along way since she began singing in the market accompanying her father as he sold traditional medicines. On stage, her alluring voice is coplemented by her kora playing she was backed by a solid group of musicians.