I first met Alain Derbez at Jazzatlán in Mexico City, in Roma Norte specifically. Roma Norte has a belle époque euphoric feeling to it, obscuring that it borders Colonia Doctores, a much less wealthy area in Mexicos capital city.
In the Zulu language, Oluzayo means what lies ahead," and this five-day festival aimed to present new African music that circumvented familiar patterns of reception and presentation. The organization behind this festival is the Cologne-based African Futures, regularly presenting a program of panels, lectures, workshops and discussions. Innovation wasnt always compulsory, as some of the acts involved maintained deep traditional roots. Whatever might be new usually possessed familiar traits and elements at the core of its style.
Has any band had a longer tail than Steely Dan? Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon has been a consistent seller for decades, but thats more a murmur of rock in the steady state background of culture. Floyd were a global nova and their long commercial dissipation will continue.
What a difference a year makes. As the summer solstice approached in 2022, most of us were still dragging through the final stages of the pandemic, wondering how it would end. There was a deep sense of lingering frustration, even disbelief, that more than two years after it began we still faced restrictions and fear of new variants. Suddenly, this summer, all that feels gone.