Alpha YaYa Diallo / Nuits D’Afriques


Straight off the plane from his show the night before in Munich, Alpha Yaya Diallo graced Montreal with a performance that was well worth the wait. Playing to a fully packed Club Balattou, Alpha managed to heat up the crowd and got everyone's feet dancing  Diallo and his Afro-funk band showcased a unique blend of sounds uniting his traditional native Guinea and contemporary world beat. Every note of his guitar came out with such fluidity, in a rhythm that was both precise and free. Nabi Kamala brought tradition into the spotlight with incredibly crisp and clean sounds o­n the balafon (a wooden xylophone). His style delivered easy sounds that carried us deep into West African culture. All of this was well complimented by the rich and steady percussion sounds of the Jimbay, played by Elage Diouf and Fode Bangoura, two budding talents. As Alpha and his group took care of our listening pleasure, Aisha Nnata Sylla put o­n a visual show of her native traditional dance. She moved with such joy and charisma, she even opened the stage for some talented dancers in the audience, nice touch. The second set of the night was where they let it all hang out. The free flowing jams of rhythmic beats were hot; everybody was up and dancing at this point. This was totally a show worth seeing. If you missed the show, the good news is that he will be back at Club Balattou tonight at 9:30, ($20 at the door). Festival Nuits D'Afrique still has a lot to offer. Come out to Place Emilie-Gamelin this weekend for three days of free music and entertainment for the whole family. While there, check out the Timbuktu Market, a vibrant and colorful international market where you will find it all. From African clothes, jewelry, masks and textiles, there is something for everyone. See you there.


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