Nov./Dec. 2004

African Guitar Summit – CD Release Party
Presented by Music Africa
December 2, 2004 Lula Lounge Toronto

(front, left to right) Adam Solomon, Donné Roberts, Madagascar Slim and (in back) Pa Joe
Jowi Taylor, bright-eyed inevitable host of CBC Radio One’s Global Village, mastered the ceremonies at the spacious Lula Lounge which was packed with revelers partying it up around the musicians and dancers performing to welcome this new multicultural recording by some of Canada’s best artists of African origin.

Nouvel Exposé Dancer

Madagascar Slim and Donné Roberts from Madagascar; from Ghana, Pa Joe, Kofi Ackah, and Theo Yaa Boakye; Mighty Popo from Burundi/Rwanda, and Adam Solomon from Kenya, to name a few.

The program started with a solo act — songs by special guest, Fojeba, the Cameroonian troubadour featured onstage at Afrofest 2004. and three spectacular dances by the Nouvel Exposé Dance Troupe, exciting young performers with an expert versatility in traditional and contemporary African dance. Their dances had more moves than you’d see in The Lion King.

The Summit Players had you sitting and listening sometimes, and sometimes the floor was cleared of chairs and they got you dancing. Many of the tunes, picked on guitar with thumb and forefinger, were built on the short phrase call and response form, usually in an African language, and sometimes in English—viz. “My friend Malembo.”

Some were based on very simple three-chord progressions that had a folk-roots-world sound. But when Pa Joe got his left hand going up the neck, you’d have thought it was Wes Montgomery laying down some great jazz. Adam Solomon, who is not at all solemn, also showed some great chops.

African Guitar Summit, produced by Todd Fraracci features a 32 page deluxe booklet, which includes all lyrics in trilingual versions, and authoritative commentary on "The Guitar In Africa" by Dr. John Collins, Head of the Music Department at the University of Ghana at Legon.

We welcome your comments and feedback
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Report by Stanley Fefferman
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Photographs by Roger Humbert

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