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Watch a Video Premiere by Bokanté, a Soulful New Band with Ties to Snarky Puppy

Let us introduce you to Bokanté, a modern-day blues band dreamed up by Snarky Puppy’s Michael League. The group’s name means “exchange” in Creole, the native language of Guadeloupe. This French colony in the Caribbean is home to Malika Tirolien, the singer and co-songwriter in the band, who currently resides in Montreal. Hear her on a new Bokanté single, “O La,” which has its premiere here. 


After League discovered Tirolien on tour, he decided to surround her with a group of international musicians, many already in Snarky Puppy’s GroundUP label family. The group includes no fewer than three guitarists: Chris McQueen, Bob Lanzetti and Roosevelt Collier. (Collier players lap and pedal steel; League, usually a bassist, also plays baritone guitar in the band.) Also on board are percussionists Jamey Haddad, Keita Ogawa and André Ferrari.

With its debut album, Strange Circles, due out on June 9, Bokanté takes on many of today’s complex social problems — colonization, religious extremism, immigration — with the sound of blues from Mississippi to Senegal. Tirolien will talk about the album on an upcoming edition of The Checkoutpodcast.

For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.