Anastasio & Zalang: May 6, 2011

Batuki Music Society and the Gladstone Hotel present music from Equatorial Guinea

Friday, MAY 6th, 2011

Ever heard music from one of Africa’s tiniest nations on the Atlantic Coast?

Anastasio Bickie was born into a musical family in the lush tropical and tiny country of Equatorial Guinea in West Africa. Bickie immersed himself in music from an early age. His father played guitar and often his home would be filled with people singing, dancing and playing drums. There was a popular musician, Ecuaga Miko who along with his wife, would travel from village to town singing and dancing to traditional ‘Fang’ rhythms and melodies. The town’s people would supply the drummers and their voices would become the backup choir for Miko and his wife to perform. Bickie was influenced greatly in his early years through these musical experiences and this environment contributed greatly to his decision to make a career in music.

While growing up in Bata on the mainland in the Rio Muni district there was not a lot of local recorded music available. The radio stations mostly broadcast popular music of neighbouring countries like Cameroon, Gabon and Nigeria, soukous of Zaire, music from Spain, South America and Cuba, European and North American pop music. These musical styles along with the traditional ‘elon’ rhythms and other musical styles of Equatorial Guinea combined to create the unique sound of Bickie’s music.

Bickie had the opportunity to go to Madrid where he formed his first band called Annax. He performed with his group around Spain and also toured with a popular Spanish duo, Eduardo Rodrigo and Teresa Rabal. Soon after Bickie migrated to Canada in 1985 and called Toronto home, he formed a band and named it Annax Bickie and Zalang. Anastasio Bickie is one of a few musicians that introduced African music to Toronto in the mid ‘80’s. His band recorded a couple of albums, ‘Harvest Time’ and ‘Cosecha’, and an award winning video ‘I Can’t Sleep’. Annax Bickie and Zalang performed in some of Toronto’s popular clubs including The Phoenix, The El Mocambo, The Bamboo Club and Harbourfront Centre.

Guest appearance by Guinean dancer/choreographer Mabinti Sylla.

Guest DJ Apollo will be spinning from his vast collection of popular African hits.

This is the second event of the World Concert Series, now in its third year.
The series features a diverse lineup of performers with a strong focus on African music.
Each event takes place on the first Friday of each month from 7 – 10 pm.,
at the Gladstone Hotel located at 1214 Queen St. West, Toronto, is all-ages and free!

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Gladstone Hotel.

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    Okavango: An African Orchestra: Apr 15, 2011

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    Mansa Sissoko: Jun 3, 2011

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