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Review of Banda ‘Iroko’ – Live in Paris March 2023

The next day, the turn of Avishai Cohen and his marvellous Banda, master percussionist Abraham Rodriguez Jr. on congas and vocals, Horacio ”El Negro” Hernandez on drums and percussion, Yosvany Terry on saxophone and chekere, Diego Urcola on trumpet and flugelhorn, Jose Angel on percussion and voice, and the sublime Virginia Alves singing and dancing.

Here again, what a great artistic adventure, and what a tour of the whole world, Yoruba, Bantu, gospel, it’s a man’s man’s world, motherless child, etc. sacred songs… The Israeli double bass player and singer surrounded by USA, Cuban and Argentinian and Spanish musicians, invited us to an Afro-Caribbean set, tender and fiery rumba. 

Impossible to sit quietly on the seat, besides we ended up standing, dancing at the back of the room. When the music is good, we get up and that’s it. And we let ourselves vibrate, we let ourselves move, we let ourselves be carried away. And we thank you. We also thank the Iroko, this African tree with magical properties that can live for several centuries. Like this palimpsest music, in essence, open to all winds, all times, all genres, unique. The Châtelet did its Jazz, and it was big and beautiful, generous, I want a repeat.

Outside it was raining, it was screaming, it was demanding, it was on strike, and inside it was singing, it was dancing, it was vibrating, it was a truce, a dream of real summer in winter. We were in another world, where music erases borders, all borders. A world where music, and not just any music, Jazz, reminds us that we all cry and smile in the same language, with overflowing hearts.

Avishai Cohen Banda Iroko – Live Review @ The Chatelet – Paris. March 12th 2023
Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe ( 11/04/2023)  

Avishai Cohen