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From the Desert to the Delta, A Cultural Exchange with Bokanté

Francois Bisi

The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal kicks off with a major debut featuring one of its local artists. Rising star and Montrealer Malika Tirolien, formerly from the French Caribbean, is the frontwoman for Michael League's new project Bokanté, which is attracting a lot of buzz as of late. In this Checkout podcast, Tirolien talks about Strange Circles, the band's recording debut, and how League discovered her while he was on tour with his primary band Snarky Puppy.

Bokanté draws influences far and wide: from the Mississippi Delta,  to the island of Guadeloupe, even the deserts of West Africa. This international crew -- eight musicians across four continents -- gather for a modern exploration of the Blues, or maybe what it should sound like in a globalized environment, while also addressing some of the world's complex social issues. So naturally the band's name Bokanté  reference's all of these ideas, which translates as "exchange" in Creole, Tirolien's native language. Bokanté performs at Montreal's Club Soda Thursday, June 29th.

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Assistant Producer: Molly Fichter

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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.