The Bamboos



<h4><strong>A sneaky peek of just some of what is in the April 2021 issue – OUT NOW!</strong></h4>

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The Bamboos

Good news, folks! The Bamboos just played two shows at Hamer Hall in their hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Not only were they supported on stage by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – which made the event pretty special in itself – but also by around 1800 paying customers for each gig. That’s right: real people, albeit wearing masks and observing sensible social distance rules, making lots of noise, dancing and applauding along – just like in the old days. It was quite an experience, reports relieved Bamboos leader, Lance Ferguson: tears were indeed shed.

“I had anticipated that it would be a cathartic experience, both for us and the audience,” he says over Zoom. “People hadn’t been out to see live music for so long that it made it quite intense… ”

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Jon Batiste

I’m looking at the 18<sup>th</sup> century French countryside right in the middle of New York in the 21<sup>st</sup>. This geographical optical illusion is not a gift from president Macron to rival the Statue Of Liberty offered by his forebears to mark the abolition of slavery, but nothing other than a backdrop in the lounge of Jon Batiste’s abode in the Big Apple. Tres original, quoi.

The pianist-vocalist explains that the pastoral portrait was bought from a circus a few years back and actually gives his apartment, a view of which is offered by the wonders of zoom, a kind of Victorian music hall vibe, far from the brownstones that have greatly defined the image of one of America’s beacon cities. However, the 34-year-old New Orleans native is used to putting his stamp on surroundings. When he headed up the East Coast in 2004, he intended to carve a niche for his career.


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Debórah Bond

That Debórah Bond’s new album, <em>compass: I</em>, should turn out to be one of the year’s best so far won’t come as such a surprise to those who loved either of her previous works <em>DayAfter</em> and <em>Madam Palindrome</em>. That an entire decade should have slipped quietly by since the second of those albums… well, that’s another kind of eyebrow-raiser altogether. Best we fill in some gaps, then.

Where we left her back in 2011, Ms. Bond was an admired independent soul artist, previously a student of journalism at American University, Washington D.C., also a regular broadcaster for radio station Sirius XM [for whom she worked for 10 years, hosting a regular Sunday afternoon show]. Her hook-up to production team Third Logic helped walk her across the bridge to being a recording artist in her own right and live dates around the world soon followed. By 2015 she was headlining a four-week residency for Jazz At Lincoln Centre in Doha…

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Sean Paul

There was no need to ask Sean Paul what he’s been doing during the lockdown – not after he’d completed two albums and released a steady flow of singles, some of them produced at his studio in New Kingston, home of Dutty Rock Productions.

While other deejays wrestle over who’s King Of Dancehall, SP continues to outsell everyone but Bob Marley. He’s the biggest Jamaican dancehall star internationally, has shared tracks with an incredible array of artists headed by Beyonce, and topped charts in so many countries, he’s lost count. It was his Spanish track on the Grammy-winning Dutty Rock that helped launch reggaeton, but while his tracks often flirt with pop, EDM, hip-hop and Afrobeats, Sean Paul’s roots are in Jamaican dancehall and that’s what he’s celebrating on latest album <em>Live N Livin’</em>, released on his own Dutty Rock label.

“That’s why I call it <em>Life N Livin’</em>, because there was this debate about dancehall music a while back… ”

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