Sunday, April 13, 2008


by Eric Green

For three nights and one matinee, the Brooklyn Academy of Music BAM rocked with the vibrant lyrical music of Paul Simon, called, "Under the African Skies."

Opening with the great Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the concert was full of energy and fun throughout. This world famous group sang a couple of songs to open the evening and then a couple of more into the nite. They also accompanied other artists.

The evening's artists both sang songs from their own countries and Simon's creations. That was certainly true for Ladysmith and also Kaissa a great singer from Cameroon who traveling to Paris and now works out of NYC. Her songs speak out against war and injustice.

She was joined by another great female singer from Sao Paulo, Brasil, Luciana Souza a three-time Grammy nominees. About 8 month pregnant, Souza a sang a number of songs from the Bossa Nova genre. Her family is made up of Basso Nova composers. She also performs with symphony orchestras and is currently in NYC.

A main highlight of the evening, and one which brought the audience to its dancing feet, was the incomparable David Byrne singing "Call Me Al" Simons big hit. He also sang "I know What I kow." He joined with the female singers in dancing and singing to, "Born at the Right Time." Byrne's on state dancing and singing certainly reminds of Steve Martin's antics.

Simon and Ladysmith brought the house down with, "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shows."

Simon also sang a great Cajun song which included direct references to Lafayette, Louisiana and Clinton Chenier, the great Cajun performer.

Simon's concert brought with it a great intergerartional participation that is always great to see.

BAM is totally sold out for these performances; and, so are his other 4-night performances "Songs from the Capeman," and, "American Tunes" coming up on April 23 to 27th.

No comments: