Bokante has been nominated for best world music album of the year. The octet, representing four continents and five countries, has been honored for their second album, What Heat. In it, musicians collaborate with the internationally renowned jazz big band and symphony orchestra hybrid Metropole Orkest, to make an even more impressive sound of world music.
The world music supergroup Bokante was founded by the great American bass guitarist and composer Michael League, who is also known as a member of the famous funk and fusion group Snarky Puppy. Accordingly, the Grammy Award has already been held by the artist.
"Bokante" in Guadeloupian Creole means "Exchange". This emphasizes the interaction and complementary musical power of the band's colorful members. Guadeloupian, for its part, is chosen because of this Caribbean island's vocalist Malika Tirolien, who now resides in Montreal, Canada.
In addition to Michael and Malik, two other Snarky Puppy guitarists Chris McQueen and Bob Lanzetti as well as last year's Art of Riga Jazz concert series guest, a renowned American steel pedal guitarist Roosevelt Collier are on the line-up. And there's a great percussion group involved in the supergroup - African djembe virtuoso Weedie Braimah from Ghana, American Jamey Haddad, Swedish Andre Ferrari and Japanese Keita Ogawa.
"Seeing us as a group of people from five countries and four continents, each one with their own story and upbringing ... all of that co-existing to create a sound that is harmonious and groovy and joyful, in itself, a message," says Michael Legue, leader of the group, while adding that Malika sings not only about joyful things, but also about various issues in today's complex world.
In Riga, the band will perform a program on both their albums Strange Circles and What Heat, warming Latvia's July to African musical temperatures. Tickets for the festival Rigas Ritmi are available at bilesuserviss.lv.