Report on North African Fusion Band!
by Linda Grodahl
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.
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.
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.
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
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
some amazing solos, Tim Abdullah sings so soulfully, that even though
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.
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
told the band was going to play all the way up to closing. I will definitely
to see the Dunes whenever I can.
Check out the groups web site www.thedunesmusic.com to
see pictures from previous shows,
bios of the musicians and
future events where you too can join in
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
Rimitti, Queen of the Rai by
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.
with the Touareg by Linda Grondahl
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
Raqs –An International Belly Dancer Goes Home to Macedonia
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
North Beach Memories Chapter 6: Bert, by
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.
in a Rhode Island Summer, June 22, 2007, Performance
in Tiverton by Anajim
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.