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with Special Guest Betty Roi
January 15, 2013
soaring Moroccan dance rhythms and chansons Francaises
Tuesday, January 15
Please join us tonight for a very special performance tonight by the uniquely talented group AZA.
AZA unites traditional Tamazight (Berber) music, indigenous to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, with the global influences of its diverse members. Evocative of Saharan-African blues, yet with an original style that truly defies categorization, AZA’s stirring performances feature deep, danceable rhythms, intricate string melodies, and soaring, soulful vocals. Visually dynamic and engaging performers, AZA has been inspiring international audiences for nearly seven years.
Founding members Fattah Abbou and Mohamed Aoualou are Berbers native to the High Atlas mountain region of Morocco, where they played and studied music for over twenty-five years, and are recognized as master musicians. They formed the sextet AZA in Santa Cruz, California, after moving to the United States eight years ago. The unique exchange between the High Atlas and Californian musicians has proved potent; AZA has produced two albums of original compositions, and performed at music festivals, clubs, and universities around the United States and abroad. In 2006, AZA was invited on its first of three annual summer tours to Morocco, to perform at music festivals throughout the country.
AZA’s endeavors are not limited to music. The Berbers, or “Imazighen” (preferred term), are the indigenous people of North Africa whose recorded history dates back to 3300 years ago. Fattah and Mohamed have always been part of the Amazigh movement and struggle to revive a culture that has been marginalized for centuries. Through music and cultural events, AZA continues to inspire awareness in people of all ages about the Amazigh culture, that it may be recognized and appreciated among the indigenous cultures of the world.
AZA performances feature an array of traditional North African instruments including banjo, lotar, oud, sintir, rebab, bendir, qaraqib, and other percussion.Other integral instruments include guitars, bass, drums, saxophones, clarinet, flute, penny whistle, steel pan, and tabla. Please join us for this singular, not-to-be-missed evening at Yoshi's for some of the most uplifting, intriguing music you've ever heard, guaranteed to get your feet moving and your spirit soaring.
"....Fans of the band Tinariwen will hear the kinship between the music of the Atlas Mountain-dwelling Berbers and their Touareg cousins -- it's there in the spacious compositions, the loping rhythms, the chanted refrains. But where Tinariwen skews rock, Aza drops into jazz or gnawa music, taking your breath away with their ability to make it all work so well." - Sarah Bardeen, Rhapsody.com
Chansons françaises - or French cabaret songs - feed memories,dreams and longings. They include the dramatic songs of Edith Piaf and Josephine Baker, as well as the poetry and jazz flair of the great poets Jacques Prevert and Boris Vian made famous by Yves Montand and Jacques Brel. Betty Roi is an authentic Parisian chanteuse who shares her love of chansons françaises with unabashed emotional intensity and riveting stage presence. She dazzles with an exquisite musical palette from the 30's to the 60's – songs of love, heartbreak, betrayal and joie de vivre. She takes the stage tonight with her Kingtette trio of bass, piano and drums.
Betty has performed throughout the Bay Area at venues like the Tosca Café, the De Young Museum, Herbst Theater, Café Claude, and Alliance Francaise. As well as chansons, she has explored diverse musical disciplines, including jazz, improvisation, Hindustani Classical and other sacred vocal traditions. Her CDs have met with wide acclaim, and include Enchanté, a collection of jazz serenades; La Chanteuse de Paris, chansons françaises celebrating the music that fed her dreams, and La Lumière du Son, a mix of raga-style drones, Sanskrit chants, soundscapes, jazz and classical inflections and the pure sonic qualities of the French language.