Kabìla: a tribal musical adventure

Kabila means “tribe” in Arabic. a tribe representing humanity, with its different colours, languages and cultures. It all started in 1997, in Arezzo, a beautiful Tuscan town 80 km southeast of Florence. Tribe Revolution, a band of four young, local musicians, together with their Lebanese singer Emad Shuman, performed cover tracks of eighties’ Pop. Their repertoire included songs by Sting, U2, Sade, REM, Toto, Alan Parson’s Project and Supertramp. “Concerto d’Africa” (Africa’s Concert)” was the turning point which lead to Kabìla’s birth.  Emad and Mirko alternate singing lyrics, creating a dialogue about people longing for freedom, in Africa as elsewhere. Emad sings in wailing, keening and arching vocal figures, while Mirko responds with a hoarse, grave and thoughtful voice, typical of Italian “cantautori” (songwriters). The song soon became popular in Tribe Revolution’s concerts; it garnered critical acclaim in many radio stations and ranked third in the Billboard of Radio 1 RAI Demoin the Summer Edition of 2006 (RAI is the Italian national broadcasting company) Tribe Revolution thus became Kabìla in 2007, when they decided to compose and perform their own songs. “Concerto d’Africa” inspired La Città degli Alberi (City of Trees)”: a concept album dedicated to Africa, where music was born, as legends tell. A young “Western” guy, Sun, travels across the continent, from Sudan to Sierra Leone (Emad’s birth-place); he meets beauty and joy as well as wars and misery. In the final track, Sun decides to stay in Africa, because future arises in the South of the Universe (Un futuro che nasce a sud). The Album was released in February 2008; Kabìla went on tour around Italy and were selected among 20 bands worldwide to perform on the streets and squares of the medieval town of Ferrara in August 2008, at Ferrara Buskers’ Festival January 2009 ended with the sudden death of Kabìla‘s drummer, Marco Patrussi. The tribal adventure seemed to come to an end. Three months later, however, Kabìla were invited by Modena City Ramblers (MCR), a popular folk band, to perform in their “Onda Libera Tour”, in front of a hotel confiscated from the Mafia. Kabìla re-united for the occasion: the band had always sought to highlight social and political issues through its songs, as well as to raise funds for environmental and human rights causes. Emad had recorded “Di Corsa” with MCR, a song dedicated to the Palestinian people, in their CD “Onda Libera”. Francesco Moneti, a musician of MCR, is also a close friend of Kabìla. He played his violin and guitar in their album, as well as performing in some of their concerts Oltre Noi (Beyond Us) is Kabila‘s second album, released in May 2010. It narrates personal experiences, emotions, reflections and sufferings. The album’s eleven tracks express Kabìla‘s desire to explore new musical cultures and highlight the importance of dialogue between people. The lyrics, in both Italian and Arabic, merge into a unique ethnic groove. Some texts are inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the UN in 1946:. ñ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood… Oltre Noi is in memory of Kabìla‘s beloved Marco. The Album is produced by Ai-music-Egea, an indie label from Milan. “Nano” is the nick-name of the new drummer, Adriano Checcacci; he plays with Andrea Chimenti, Paolo Benvegnù, Banda Improvvisa, Alessandro Benvenuti, as well as in l’Orchestra Multietnica di Arezzo, where Emad sings too, along with musicians from different nations who reside in Arezzo. “Cato” (Gabriele Polverini) joined the band after having recorded in “Oltre Noi”. He plays the electric guitar; a lap steel virtuoso and master in guitar sound production. Cato is a member of “Noinatimale”, a Tuscan Folk band; he collaborates with Paolo Benvegnù, Andrea Chimenti, John Sinclair, Marcello Baraghini, Alessandro Fiori, Mariposa and Enrico Gabrielli Giacomo Chiarini, Kabìla’s young and talented bass player, left the band in December 2011, to pursue his career elsewhere. Marco Chianucci, another talented bass guitar and double bass player, replaced him. Muauia Alabdulmagid, a young Syrian virtuoso oud musician, also recorded in Kabìla‘s albums and performed live with the band. He graduated in Italy and left to Damascus in May 2010, teaching Italian Language and Culture there and sharing his country’s critical times. Kabìla‘s albums have both been arranged, recorded and mixed by Massimo Giuntini, ex-member of MCR, who plays in the Celtic band Whiskey Trail. Kabila have performed all around Italy: at “Ferrara Buskers Festival”, “Festival del Mediterraneo” in Conversano, “MEI” (Indie Labels Meeting) in Faenza and “Vinilmania” in Milan, as well as in clubs: Contestaccio in Rome, Karemaski in Arezzo, Metromondo in Milan and Mama’s in Ravenna. Kabila participated in many radio shows: Radio Kisskiss and Radio Popolare in Milan, Radio Wave in Arezzo, Radio Città Futura in Rome, Radio Diva in Rovigo, Radio Vaticana, Radio Incontri, Radio Onda Blu and Radio Fujiko in Bologna. Kabìla‘s musical adventure will continue, in the spirit of human cooperation and love among people. They will perform at Unesco’s Palace in Beirut next May, together with a Chorus of 80 Lebanese children. They are working on their third album, inspired by Arab youths’ will to change their destiny and seek a better world for the whole humanity Kabila are: Emad Shuman: lead vocals, backing vocals. Mirko P. Esse: lead vocals, piano, keyboards, backing vocals. Adriano “Nano” Checcacci: drums, percussion, electronic percussion, loop creation. Cristiano Rossi: electric, acoustic and nylon string guitars, saz, oud, vocals. Gabriel “Cato” Polverini: electric and acoustic guitar Marco Chianucci: bass guitar, double bass.

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