[Many thanks to Quito Nicolaas for bringing this event to our attention.] The Kwaku Summer Festival has been going on at Nelson Mandela Park in Amsterdam, since July 14. This is the last week of the festival, which closes on August 5. This Friday, August 3, the festival will feature the world-renown group from Guadeloupe and Martinique, Kassav’, presenting Le Grand Mechant Zouk.
Kassav’ (the Kreyol name for cassava) was first formed in 1979 when Paris-based George and Pierre-Edouard Décimus, Freddy Marshall, and Jacob Desvarieux elevated the Antillean music style that was coming out from Guadeloupe and Martinique to a more modern and polished level. Core members of the group also include Jocelyne Béroard, Jean-Philippe Marthély, Jean-Claude Naimro, and Claude Vamur.
Although the band has roamed far from home and toured almost the entire globe, Martinique continues to be the group’s eternal source of inspiration. The rhythmic style of zouk, which means “party”, has its roots in Haitian kompa, Trinidadian calypso, and Dominica’s cadence-lypso, beguine, and quadrille while its evolution has been heavily influenced by heavy-metal guitar, funk, soul, Congolese soukous and a variety of Latin rhythms such as salsa. This genre has gained international popularity since it first was heard in the early 1980s and is considered one of the most important contemporary pop innovations.
Description of Kassav’ above, adapted from Cheryl Nneka U. Hazell’s article http://wemagonline.blogspot.com/2007/09/we-spotlight-kassav-zouk-is-here.html