Kali, Martinican troubadour, in concert at New-Morning


[Many thanks to Karine Lagrenade for sharing this item.] E.B. (outremers 360) reviews the music of Martinican troubadour, Kali, who celebrates his 35 years in the music industry with a concert at New-Morning, in Paris, France, on December 6, 2019. outremers 360 calls this an opportunity “to see an artist who has reconciled traditional music and modernity.”

After 35 years of music, it is his party. At 60, Kali, the Martinican troubadour—who has been delighting our lives for so many years with his music, mixing tradition and modernity brilliantly and with talent—is coming out of his spiritual retreat to gratify music lovers in a single performance in Paris, with an acoustic formula that allows him to fully express his sensitivity and emotions.

The concert will take place on December 6 at the New-Morning—the music hall where he debuted in Paris—in the company of his old friend, percussionist Charly Labinsky, guitarist Patrick Jean-Elie, and bassist Rody Céréyon; the evening promises to be particularly in the “vibe,” as they say. It will be a two-hour concert in which we will be able to appreciate the full extent of Kali’s talent.

For, if Kali’s music inspires a certain nostalgia for passing time, it is also, and above all, a music rooted in reality. 35 years of music during which, the Martinican singer was able to adapt to the changes and developments of his time and his regional environment with a certain openness to the world, without losing his specificity and authenticity.

Exploration of New Horizons

Since the beginning of his musical career, from his first “Gaoulé” training through his participation in the group “Difé” and “6th Continent,” to his solo adventure on stage, Kali has continued to evolve musically, multiplying his melodic experiences.

Ahead of his time, sometimes to the point of disorienting part of his audience, the Saint-Pierre, Martinique native—heir of a large family of musicians, including the famous Max Ransay (who passed away too early)—has been in a perpetual search for renewal in his work through his musical experiences and interactions.

Alternately influenced by African-American music, including Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder, and the reggae of Bob Marley, so much that he espoused Rastafarian philosophy, he has always tried to marry various musical genres and to explore new horizons. This was evidenced in 2001, with his attempt to mix traditional Martinican music and the emblematic “Bèlè” with U.S. rap, bringing together three generations of artists around the project “Bèlè Boum Bap.”

Similarly, it is in this spirit of renewed experiences that he will later embark on the “Akoustik Kreyol Project” concept, highlighting acoustic music, with musicians from different areas.

A Man of Commitment

A man of commitment and battle, we all remember his famous “Reggae Dom-Tom” or his cry against the divvying up of Martinique in his single “Ile à vendre.” Kali—a diminutive of his nickname, Kalimero (the name a Japanese cartoon character) ascribed when he was a kid—has also received a number of awards from the music field besides his high public rating. Thus, in 1997, he obtained the SACEM Martinique trophy, awarded for the most beautiful song of the year for “La biguine des enfants du bon dieu.” A few years later, he was selected to represent France at the Eurovision contest. With his song “Monté la riviè,” he classified 8th in the competition.

In recent times, the man with the banjo, an instrument he took up after his separation from “6th Continent,” remained removed from the clatter of the world, taking refuge in spirituality. In an album entitled “C’est l’éveil,” released in 2014, he unveiled an intimate part of himself and he performed, with various guests, psalms from the Bible with a Nayabenghi rhythmic foundation.

He is back with us today, haloed by his desire to bring together the rhythms of traditional music and modernity, to our great joy. Nostalgic sequences, vibrations, and emotions guaranteed.

[Translated by Ivette Romero. For original article (in French), see http://outremers360.com/culture/kali-le-troubadour-martiniquais-en-concert-unique-a-paris-au-new-morning/

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