She jumped, she leaped, she danced and she sang from the heart, and through her words, she gave a glimpse of her country, Africa. As part of the ongoing Bon Jour India festival, African jazz artiste Dobet Gnahore and her band, gave an energetic performance over the weekend at the open air theatre of IIMB.
Originally from Ivory Coast, Dobet’s foot-tapping music was a blend of Mandingue melodies, rumba, Zulu choirs and jazz. Performing for the first time in the country, she said, “This
is a great opportunity to introduce my music to a country, which is as rich and diverse as mine. Through the performances, I have tried to show a bit of West African culture.”
The band began on a lowkey and got the crowd familiar to the melodies of jazz. Slowly, Dobet pumped up the beat and brought out her rumba moves on to the stage. This caught everyone’s attention. Delicately, with her traditional movements and powerful voice, she captivated the audience.
Compositions with elements of jazz and folk influences like Coppa spoke about afforestation, which she described as high in her part of the town.
She then dedicated a song for her country, which she intimately called ‘mother’. Her funky music even had a word of advice for parents. Through the song, she told them to let their children dream, dance and play freely and watch them grow into beautiful human beings.
And then she sighed aloud, saying, “I’m tired.” A confused look was visible among the audience as they wanted more. And so she went on, “I’m tired of the dirty politics and war that rule the world.” A soulful song, that spoke about the political scene of her part of the world, came next.
The evening ended on a happy note when she sang a song that said, no matter what, life is still beautiful. On this high note she invited the audience near the stage and shake a leg with her.