Batuki Music Society presents a special concert, Rumba: Soul of Congo at the Paradise Theatre on Saturday May 20th.
The concert features an all-star cast of musicians, singers, dancers and songwriters based in Montreal, Toronto and Paris. The performing ensemble includes Olivier Tshimanga (guitar, singer), Blandine Mbiya (singer, dancer), Pecosse Animations (singer), Noel Mpiaza (drums), Dauphin Mbuyi (bass), Jean-Claude Kamina a.k.a. R9 (guitar), Samson Owandji (keyboards) and Walter Maclean (congas). These artists share a deep connection through the language, stories and rumba songs that define their Congolese heritage. They have been inspired by rumba music and its evolving forms which is reflected in their own artistic work.
Curated by Batuki Music Society, this concert will present repertoire to celebrate the artistry of veterans and icons of Congolese music; Dr. Nico, Grand Kalle, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Franco Luambo, Papa Wemba, Abeti Masikini, M’bilia Bel and more. A presentation to celebrate the UNESCO designation of Congolese rumba music as an intangible heritage.
The inspiration for this new creative work is the desire to explore the Rumba music traditions that have been passed down and evolved through the work of artists of Congolese heritage. The performance will focus on specific traditions, songs, rhythms and folkloric dances that draw from the vast cultural wealth of rumba music. The rumba is considered an essential and representative part of the identity of Congolese people and its diaspora. It is perceived as a means of conveying the social and cultural values of the region and of promoting inter-generational and social cohesion and solidarity.