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Live Congolese Soukous - Rumba Music in Seattle - Orchestra Afrisa International

Seattle has been a hotbed for world music in recent years. Harkening back to the good 'ol days of world music at the Bohemian, the event was billed as the Spirit of West Africa festival and was held at Jaam Rek Studio (formerly Hidmo), located at the corner of 20th and Jackson Street in Seattle's Central District neighborhood. It was backed by the Seattle Center and other corporate sponsors. Although I have been involved with Seattle's world music scene for the past twenty-plus years, I was totally blown away by the sight and sound of the musicians before me. Wow! Members of the famed Orchestra Afrisa International; the band of the legendary Tabu Ley Rochereau, were live and direct in Seattle -- including Wawali Bonane (vocals), Dodo Munoko (vocals), Huit Kilos (guitar), Modero Mekanisi (saxophone), Shaba Kahamba (bass), and Seattle based Hussein Kolanji (Rhythm Guitar).

Wawali Bonane sings with Orchestra Afrisa International in Seattle

Oh what a night on a Sunday in Seattle! One thing for sure - for next year, this event must be better promoted so that the music lovers of Seattle (the many) can experience this amazing flavor of world funky hip-girating music. Check out the video and you can witness for yourself the mastery of music that I and those in attendance had the pleasure to experience in person. It was Congolese Rumba - Soukous music played by true pioneers of the genre. And let me tell you Seattle - it was a KWASSA KWASSA Good Times!

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