Latin music leaves footprint

THE world music showcase concert The Latin Footprint was staged in association with the Festival Theatre on November 4 to an appreciative audience of more than 500.

The evening's line-up opened with a blast of a whistle and the get-up-and-follow-me rhythm of carnival drums, Chichester's own open-access samba group Sambatida.

Next on stage was singer/guitarist Carolina Herrera from Columbia. We have been fans since seeing her perform at Womad in 2004. She is beautiful and talented with a voice as rich and warm as coffee with cream, and well worth seeing in her own right.

Next, Brazilian guitarist Thyagi das with four other band members Tu Kriya tu! brought a sound of mellow cerebral jazz. Accomplished, tight and highly talented, this collaboration produces a music that makes the world feel like a better place!

Papa Noel (Congo) & Adan Pedoso (Cuba) create a musical partnership made in heaven, both fine guitarists, whose strings and voices create a perfect and spell-binding fusion.

Quimantu, the final set of the evening, headed by Chilean-born Mauricio Venegas-Astorga, gave a very special performance. The sound is well rooted in South American folk tradition but with a very sympathetic European twist provided by Rachel Pantin's electric violin and Celtic harp. The quality of musicianship was excellent, creating a celebration of sound that is well-woven but never homespun.

So the evening was a selection of musical styles within a theme, like a box of fine exotic chocolates, surprising and satifying; I for one will be tempted to try some flavours again (and again).

The aim of the Footprint series is to introduce the audience to the new genres of music from literally all over the world for an economic value-for-money ticket price, says Roots around the World's Mark Ringwood.

"The format also allows lesser-known artists on the bill to be seen and heard by larger audiences. We hope to stage another Celtic Footprint next year as well as the Indian and the Caribbean Footprints, all within Sussex.

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Marilyn Pannett