Aftican Guitar Summit

4 Jan

africamain.jpgThe African Guitar Summit elevates the musical collective to frontier-bashing, hip-shaking heights

It plays like a multicultural fairy tale: a group of highly talented African-born musicians migrate to Canada, individually gain notice playing clubs and subway platforms, assemble in a Toronto studio under the watchful eye of a CBC producer, win nationwide acclaim, and walk away with a Juno for the best world album of 2005. African Guitar Summit (made up of nine members, including Kofi Ackah, Madagascar Slim and Alpha Ya Ya Diallo) has married the musical styles of dozens of countries, regions and tribes, somehow fusing a continent’s worth of audible influences, from Kenyan fiesta guitar and Ghanaian percussion to traditional Burundian songs and the quick licks of Madagascar.

What emerges hits the ears as a fluid rhythm of walking coastal melodies, dewy savannah harmonies and joyous jungle beats. AGS’s musical stew is a nod to our greatest potential for collaboration. At a time when Parkdale collectives are de rigueur for aspiring artists, the gathering of an international African supergroup masterfully taps into this city’s most significant treasure: its diversity.

African Guitar Summit II (2006), their critically acclaimed follow-up album, whips out even more melodious vocals—in a variety of dialects—to back up the stellar hands of its players.

African Guitar Summit plays the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts Jan. 5th. $60. 130 Navy St., Oakville, 905-815-2021, www.oc4pa.com

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