Old school tunes meet soca beats: with Kalypso Katz and the Caribbean Calypsonians old and new calypso encounter one another. For ten years now, the international Berlin band collective Kalypso Katz has been promoting calypso music from Trinidad in Europe. For this performance, they will be joined by current stars from Barbados and St. Lucia for a concert of swinging old-school calypso songs and sweat-inducing soca beats. These stars include Charles D. Lewis, whose top hit Soca Dance in the early 1990s dominated the charts around the world and who can now look back on over thirty-years as a calypso musician. They are also joined by Nicholas Brancker, successful soca producer also known as a pianist and a bassist focusing on contemporary versions of Caribbean beats, calypso-singer Stedson “Red Plastic Bag” Wiltshire, steel pan player David “ZigE” Walcott, and the singer and rapper Sherwin “Dupes” Brice.
Modern jazz grooves by the master of the steelpan: From New York to Soweto, Andy Narrell is respected for his musical innovation. On his first solo album in 1979, he took the steel drum, Trinidad’s signature instrument, from the context of the steel band and introduced it to the world of jazz. Since then, he has played with a wide range of musicians, including Tito Puente, Flora Purim and Airto, Les McCann, Angelique Kidjo, Marcus Miller and Fatoumata Diawara. Together with three musicians from Paris he forms the Ensemble Sakésho. Drummer Jean Philippe Fanfant comes from a musician family from Guadeloupe, while Thierry Vaton, a pianist from Martinique, for many years has been exploring the African-Antillean heritage and especially the role of the piano in creole music. The bassist Michel Alibo, also from Martinique, already toured with Manu Dibango at age 16. His hypnotic bass playing is equally at home in jazz as it is in biguine, reggae, zouk, or gwoka.