They say the best opportunities in life happen by chance. Bokanté, which is much more than a new world music supergroup, was born this way: a combination of West African music, Delta blues, Led Zeppelin and Caribbean sounds. And much more.
Bokanté is the result of a chance encounter and released its debut album “Strange Circles” in 2017.
Snarky Puppy founder and leader Michael League, one of the most popular bands in recent years, was in Montreal making other plans. He heard the voice of Malika Tirolien, who grew up in Guadalupe and now living in Canada. He was impressed enough to start writing some music and melodies specifically for her. He sent it to her, and Tirolien wrote the lyrics in Creole and French, her two languages.
The multilingual, multicultural, and multi-generational band, formed by eight musicians from four continents, was created by the encounter between League and Tirolien (Bokanté means “exchange” in Creole).
Together with League (bass and baritone guitar) and Tirolien, two Snarky Puppy members, Chris McQueen and Bob Lanzetti, percussion legend Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Sting), pedal and lap steel virtuoso Roosevelt Collier (Lee Boys, Karl Denson), and percussionists André Ferrari (Väsen) and Keita Ogawa (Banda Magda, Yo-Yo Ma). An unusual ensemble for a rich and sound resulting from a multitude of crossroads.
The next album, “What Heat”, plus Metropole Orkest, was nominated for Best World Music Album in the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
In addition to League, Tirolien, Lanzetti, Haddad, Collier, Ferrari, Ogawa, Jordan Peters (guitars) and Jay White (bass) complete the band’s lineup.