Congolese stars Staff Benda Bilili lead the African presence in FMM Sines 2010

FMM Sines – Festival Músicas do Mundo, the biggest world music festival in Portugal, is back to Sines town on the 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st of July, with 26 concerts in the settings of Sines’ Castle and Beach Vasco da Gama. Africa is once again the origin of some of the most expected performers.

Elected best group of the year in Songlines World Music Awards 2010, Staff Benda Bilili (D. R. Congo) are the festival’s headliners, as proved by their slot in the programme: the last concert in the historic Castle stage, on July 31, at 00h30, partially overlapped with a fireworks show.

Comprised of paraplegic street musicians who lived in and around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, Staff Benda Bilili make music of astonishing power and beauty. The band’s mesmerising rumba-rooted grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals, have echoes of funk, old school R&B, Cuban music and reggae. Four senior singer/guitarists sitting on customized tricycles are the core of the band, backed by a younger, all-acoustic, rhythm section. The lyrics of the Staff Benda Bilili are wise, ironical advice to the people who live in the streets. Entitled “Très Très Fort”, their first album was produced by Vincent Kenis (already responsible for the Congotronics series) and was considered the best of 2009 by magazines such as Mojo and fRoots. The biographical documentary “Benda Bilili!”, by Florent de la Tullaye and Renaud Barret, featured in the last edition of Cannes Festival, will be shown few hours before the concert (15h30), at the Centro de Artes de Sines’ Auditorium.

Congo sends their hottest stars, but Mali is the African country with more representatives in FMM Sines 2010: Tinariwen, Cheick Tidiane Seck feat. Mamani Keita and Founé Diarra Trio (along with Breton Jacky Molard Quartet).

Winner of the Uncut award for the best record released in 2009, “Imidiwan”, Tinariwen creates a synthesis between the music of West Africa, Maghreb, rock and blues. Formed in 1979, they have a long history of resistance, cultural, but also of literal warfare, for the sake of the Touareg people living in the northern part of Mali.

 Thomas Dorn Thomas DornToday in peace, they are one of the few Non-Western bands that, keeping their wholesome integrity, are able to compete with the rock giants at their own game. The gig is set to take place on July 30, at 00h30, at the Castle.

Also at the Castle, on July 31, at 23h00, in the Castle, Cheick Tidiane Seck, the African genius of the Hammond, besides a great guitarist, singer, composer and arranger, joins Mamani Keita, one of the best voices of Mali, for a fusion of Mandingo roots and several branches of African-American music.

On July 29, at 23h30, the best fusion concert of the festival is once again scheduled for the Castle.N’Diale means “the pleasure of being together” in Bambara and that’s what happens between the two sides of this super-group: the quartet of legendary Breton violinist Jacky Molard and the trio of Malian singer Founé Diarra.

 Bill Akwa Bétotè Bill Akwa Bétotè Symbol of the renewed interest of Portuguese new generation for African music, Cacique’97 blends Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat with several lusophone traditions for a celebration of Lisbon’s melting pot. Formed in 2005, they bring together musicians of Mozambican and Portuguese origins. Not to miss on July 28, at 20h00, at the Beach Stage.

Emerging star of the world music circuit, singer, guitarist and songwriter Kimi Djabaté moved Guinea-Bissau into the first league of Mandingo traditional music and plays at the Castle, on July 30, at 18h00. “Karam”, his latest album, an expression of his griot roots, pays tribute to the people, soul and spirit of Africa that is at the heart of his music.

Batida closes the festival in partying mode on July 31, at 4h00, by the beach. Born within Radio Fazuma, they bring back the best Luanda’s music of the 60s and 70s. A group of Portuguese and Angolan musicians, DJs and dancers transfer their 2009 sensation album “Dance Mwangolé” to stage.

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by Câmara Municipal de Sines
Palcos | 8 July 2010 | Staff Benda Bilili, World Music