November 2006

presented by Le Centre Francophone de Toronto
November 4, 2006 Tranzac Main Hall Toronto
Senaya — Mission Accomplished
by Joyce Corbett with photo by Roger Humbert
On Saturday night at the Tranzac, a lovely woman with a warm and beautiful voice captivated the audience. With her fabulous smile and her sparkling eyes Senaya exuded energy, good will and a general love of life, as her voice sailed and darted through a variety of compelling rhythms, backed up by another lovely voice, that of Maranda Colin and accompanied by the accomplished guitarist, Cecile Doo-Kingué.

Born of a Senegalese father and a Guadeloupian mother in Dakar, Senaya has lived in Senegal, Guadeloupe, France, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. She now lives in Montreal, where she settled in 1996. She has visited many other countries and along the way has managed to learn seven languages, not counting the various musical languages she has come to know.

Her music has strong soul and R&B elements, African, Caribbean, blues, jazz, hip hop, rock and pop influences. Senaya has absorbed the popular music and the cultures of many peoples and places and that is where her music comes from; her experience and her own character. Her timing is flawless, accentuating the compelling rhythms of her songs.

Most of Seneya’s songs are in French with a couple of notable exceptions; a quite spectacular jazz medley in English, that includes “Caravan” and “Our Love is Here to Stay” and a soulful piece in Creole fittingly entitled “Soul Creole”. She has some hard-hitting songs, such as “On s’en fout (autrement)” with its lyrics of “There are people reaching out their hands, who are dying of hunger, and no one cares”. But she also sings of working towards a change.

The message embodied in her CD, Garde la tete haute (Hold Your Head High) with its title song of the same name is positive. “Hold your head high — no matter what your road, no matter what your future may be”. In her performance, she sings and talks to the crowd; “When I wake up in the morning, I feel happy. Why? Because I have my legs. Does that sound silly? It’s a big thing to be able to feel your legs, your body, the sun… I am happy because I can see, because I can kiss my lover, my children.”

photo of Senaya
Senaya incites the crowd to participate; to sing parts, to wave their arms and to dance. She calls forth a spirit of joy. Senaya is a woman on a mission, that mission being to impart joy, to inspire, and to make us appreciate just being alive. Mission accomplished, Senaya.
We welcome your comments and feedback
Joyce Corbett
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Roger Humbert
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The Live Music Report

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