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Gangbe’ Brass Band of Benin (West Africa) May 5, 2007

Posted by The Typist in African Music, Dancing Bear, Jazz, Jazz Fest, New Orleans, NOLA, Rebirth, Toulouse Street.
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While the big crowds were Festering with the Allman Brother Band, featuring I presume Cher’s ex, I caught the Gangbe’ Brass Band of Benin at Congo Square at Sunday’s (May 5 2007) Jazz Fest. These guys are fantastic, combining traditional African rythems and melodies with European brass instruments. They are a glimpse into how jazz was borne of African roots and European instruments here in New Orleans over a century ago.

I immediately ran off to the music tent to buy a CD, but the hopeless Border’s clerk said they couldn’t find any to order to the half-dozen of us all standing in line to ask the same question. That’s odd, as Amazon seems to have both of their import releases in stock. If they’re going to have a music tent at Jazz Fest, it should be run by people who at least make an effort to stock the performers instead of filling an entire rack with the Allman Brothers and another with Rod Stewart.

Anyway, here’s as much of one song as my camera could capture. If this taste whets your appetite, or you were among those who caught them at Jazz Fest or Tipitina’s during Fest, then hie thee over to Amazon and scoop up one of their CDs like this one.. I did.

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