Bokanté is a band project founded by Snarky Puppy's Michael League. He describes the sound of multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-generational Bokanté as a "weird combination of West African music, Delta blues, and Led Zeppelin and Caribbean kaladja (with lyrics in Creole and French)." The eight-piece ensemble includes League on baritone guitar and bass; lap and pedal steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier (Lee Boys, Karl Denson); Snarky Puppy guitarists Chris McQueen and Bob Lanzetti; percussionists Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Sting); André Ferrari (Väsen), and Keita Ogawa (Banda Magda, Yo-Yo Ma); all fronted by veteran tri-lingual vocalist Malika Tirolien who leads her own fine quintet and appeared on Snarky Puppy's Family Dinner, Vol 1. The word bokanté means "exchange" in Creole, the language of Tirolien’s youth -- she grew up on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. The backing music and some of its melodies were written by League, demo'ed while on tour with other bands, and then sent to Tirolien with lyrical concepts attached. Tirolien added lyrics and additional melodies to demos and sent them back to League. Much of the rest of the cast hadn't even met until they all gathered on the first day of recording. After a week of sessions in upstate New York’s Dreamland Studios, the band emerged with their debut Strange Circles in 2017 on Music Works International. ~ Thom Jurek
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