ad 4 Artemis

Gilded Serpent presents...
The Dunes
Report on North African Fusion Band!
by Linda Grodahl

The Dunes is a group of musicians playing North African fusion . I attended their concert Friday, Aug l0, at LaPena in Berkeley, California. I had heard them five years ago at a local community event (it was actually their very first performance) and thought they were a passable amateur, garage band with a lot of potential. Well, I was certainly right about that potential.

They have certainly grown into a professional ensemble. The group consists of two percussionists, Algerian Nasser Addi, and San Franciscan Jan Padover, and four other men, two Algerians, Reda Boual, and Malik Basta, Tunsian Anis Sehri and globalist Tim Abdullah Fuson, (who has studied music in Morocco), who play many instruments, keyboard, clarinet, various electric guitars, electric bass ,and several Maghrebian instruments, the karkaboos, (double headed giant hand cymbals,) the gimbri (one of the first forms of the guitar.) and the mandol.

The Dunes play traditional North African songs from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, (in the styles of Kabyle, Berber, Chaabi and Gnawa) their own compositions, and fusion of various styles, funk, rock, reggae and salsa all with the North African rhythms. You can hear tributes to both Jimmy Hendrix and Santana in some of the songs. (Santana has played in several of Khaled’s shows, including the one last year in San Francisco at Sigmund Stern Grove.) It is all dance music and it’s impossible to remain seated when the music starts. The crowd at LaPena did not want them to stop, although they did allow them a short l5 minute break. This concert was part of the the LaPena Arab Cultural Initiative titled, Beyond Walls and Wars, that they have co produced with the Arab Cultural and Community Center of San Francisco. The project started in February and continues through December with a variety of offerings.

I was lucky to be able to change my schedule so that I could attend another Dunes performance Friday night August 24th at Pasha Restaurant in San Francisco. I brought my friend Laura with me who had not heard of the band, but became an instant fan. She danced to almost every number for two hours. I thought the band sounded even better than at LaPena, perhaps due to a better sound system and the fact that the band members were so close to each other as the band stand was half the size of LaPena. Whatever the reason, it created a vibrant, intense and exciting sound. Lead guitarist Reda Boual plays some amazing solos, Tim Abdullah sings so soulfully, that even though the words are in a foreign language, you think you know what he is saying, and the other band members bring everything together for a joyful music experience.

The large crowd at Pasha consisted of people that came for the band, tourists who were just lucky enough to pick a restaurant that had such great live entertainment that night, and various local people that have patronized Pasha’s before. The dance floor was never empty and in 3 hours the band took only two short breaks (and they really were short breaks!). I had to leave at midnight and was told the band was going to play all the way up to closing. I will definitely look to see the Dunes whenever I can.


Check out the groups web site to see pictures from previous shows,
bios of the musicians and future events where you too can join in the fun.

Have a comment? Send us a letter!
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

Ready for more?
7-5-06 Sheikka Rimitti, Queen of the Rai by Linda Grondahl
Unlike most of the music that we are familiar with from the Middle East that are usually unrequited love songs or patriotic love of country songs, the rai songs are about drinking, suicide, suffering, colonialism, poverty, exile, homesickness, corruption and the passion and pain of actual love making.

11-17-05 Traveling with the Touareg by Linda Grondahl
This was my 5th trip to Algeria since 2000 and I have been amazed at the rapid economic development. The government is working very hard to make Algeria a very popular tourist destination once again.

8-23-07 Roots Raqs –An International Belly Dancer Goes Home to Macedonia by Paola
The musical folklore of this region deserves full debut in the World Music scene, and those of us in the MED community worldwide are ripe for the breath of fresh air that Chochek and Gypsy Brass Music can bring us. It is an original, organic and time-honored fusion, brought about by history, geography, and most importantly, tolerance and mutual cultural celebration.

8-15-07 Amina's North Beach Memories Chapter 6: Bert, by Amina Goodyear
On my first Monday at the Casa Madrid, Bert came to support the place and me. Well, what he saw was equivalent to a San Francisco earthquake.

8-13-07 Dance in a Rhode Island Summer, June 22, 2007, Performance in Tiverton by Anajim
The picturesque small harbor view was the perfect venue for this family event! The performers comprised an eclectic group that presented varied types of dance. With only one of each of the different styles, the show moved along swiftly.
ad 4
be brave a review a product for GS

 Gilded Serpent
 Cover page, Contents, Calendar Comics Bazaar About Us Letters to the Editor Ad Guidelines Submission Guidelines