Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
The Raaga Trio plays a subtle fusion of jazz and traditional West-African music. Made up of four members from different backgrounds, the trio’s music pulls you into deep currents of Mandingue feeling, experimental and Jazzy sounds and sweeps you away with the magnificent n’goni and bass n’goni of Andra Kouyaté, the excellent rhythms of the percussionist Baba Konaté, the harmonious, electric tones of Andreas Fulgosi’s superb guitar work and the powerful dubs on harmonica by Guillaume Lagger. This music is an invitation to embark on a journey through sound, and a chance to experience its positivism, its humanity and its generosity. Listen without moderation.
Raaga Trio’s first album The Other Edge has just been recorded by Renaud Millet-Lacombe at Hush Sound Studio in Switzerland. It will be released early 2010.
Andreas Fulgosi Guitar, electronics, composer, teacher Italy, 1967
Andreas Fulgosi’s playing reveals a slightly saturated sound, accompanied by syncopated phrasing. He does not hesitate to play with melodic and harmonic tensions, giving a unique texture to his compositions, in which he delights in exploiting the sounds and universe of the electric guitar. Originally a classical cello player before fully devoting himself to the guitar, he deepens his knowledge of improvisation at the AMR (an association for the encouragement of improvised music), Geneva. After attending the Montreux Jazz School and the Bern Jazz School, he studies with Mick Goodrick, John Scofield and Wolfgang Muthspiel.
In the early 90’s he forms his first band as a leader, the BLT quartet (modern jazz). His collaboration with German ballerina and choreographer Sibylla Klein on the shows “Empty Space”, “Wo gehen die geträumten Träume”, “Shocking Life” and “Tauko”, a Finnish exhibition, for which he writes and interprets the music, widens the range of his musical approach.
Andreas Fulgosi forms the By-Spiel project, eager to make full use of the world of sounds in jazz music through the use of traditional instruments from different cultures as well as modern instruments mixed with electronics. Thus, he creates a multitude of contrasts within his original compositions. He releases « Looking Outside », recorded with German avant- gardes trombone player Albert Mangelsdorff and «Madagascar« , following the encounter with Madagascan percussionist Olombelo Ricky.
The other ensembles he leads and composes for are also part of his musical environment : “Blood on the Floor” (compositions inspired by the music of the Sex Pistols) and the quartet “Dusty Road”(guitar, pedal steel, b, drums, modal electric jazz). He is also member of the Fulgosi-Perez quintet (modern jazz), Red Brick Organic trio (guit, Hammond B3, dms). “VAL AFUMO” (live improvisation on the movies of American cineast Mike Ballou), “Stringvox” duo and “Palatone” (live poetry and music).
Andreas Fulgosi has performed with: Lars Lindvall (tp), Olombelo Ricky (perc), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Jean-Jacques Pedretti (tb), François Gallixe (b), Pia Karaspuro (dance), Maurice Magnoni (sax, cl), Ali Farka Toure (voc, guit), Bassekou Kouyate (n'goni), Ba Cissoko (kora), Neba Solo (balaphon), Michel Bastet (p), Serge Zaug (sax), Bill Holden (tp), Patrice Moret (b), Luigi Galati (dm), Jerome Regard (b), Samuel Blaser (tb), Nicola Orioli (cl,sax), Pascal Schaer (tb), Lionel Friedli (dm), Philippe Aerts (b), Marcelo Aguirre (dm), Peter Morrens (complete artist), Juha Valkeapää (vocal perform), Claudia Urio (voc).
He played in the Berlin Jazzfest, the Prague Jazz Festival, the Munich Jazz Festival, the Görlitz Jazz Festival, the Ouagadougou Jazz Festival, the Saint- Louis Jazz Festival (Senegal), the Guinea Jazz Festival, the Accra Jazz Nights (Ghana), the Savona Jazz Festival (Italy) and Jazz Festival Madajazzcar (Madagascar). His various performances have taken him to Germany, The Czech Republic, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Italy, Finland, Belgium, France and Mali.
Andra Kouyate Bass n’goni, n’goni, tama, vocals, composer Mali, 1973
Andra Kouyate plays an instrument of his own invention, the bass n’goni, a sort of “African Double-Bass”. This new instrument has enabled him to develop a new style, far removed from the n’goni. He possesses exceptional musical and rhythmical skills and draws his inspiration from his roots in Mandingue tradition.
Andra plays the n’goni, the bass n’goni and the tama with masterful assurance. His exceptional creativity leaves the listener in no doubt that these traditional instruments offer unbounded possibilities for the exploration of diverse musical currents.
Andra Kouyate’s approach to his music, his qualities of sensitivity, charisma and his power and dexterity all go to make up a remarkable, multi-talented musician.
Andra Kouyate was born into a family of griot musicians and began studying the n’goni at the age of seven under the guidance of his father Moustapha Kouyate in Garana (Mali). In 1989 he moved to Bamako and played with a number of local groups, including Badema National.
By 1997 Andra Kouyate integrates two groups, one of Fantani Toure, with whom he recorded the album N’TIN NAARI and subsequently toured, and the group of Rokia Traore, with whom he participated on three albums “MOUNEÏSSA”, “WANITA” and “BOWMBOI” and toured internationally for eight years. During the same period Andra Kouyate played regularly with Toumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure.
In 2005 Andra Kouyate decides to create “NGONI BA” with his brother Bassekou Kouyate. Together they record an album “SEGU BLUE” and set off on a hugely successful tour through Europe.
In 2007, still on tour with Bassekou Kouyate, he participates on Habib Koite’s album AFRIKI and also on the album RED EARTH released by Dee Dee Bridgewater. Christophe Minck makes a successful appeal on him for the album KIRIKOU ET KARABA, under the direction of Michel Ocelot. He also contributes to the albums SEYA by Oumou Sangare and ALU MAYE by Leni Stern.
Later in 2007 Andra Kouyate, Andreas Fulgosi and Baba Konate decide to form a new group called RAAGA TRIO, which is a exciting meeting between traditional West African music and jazz.
Andra’s wife Mah Bara Soumano is a great singer. She has recorded an eight song album and made a few video’s. Following the succes of this album SABALI and the many enthousiastic reactions at their performances Mah Bara Soumano en Andra Kouyate are currently working at STUDIO MALI. They are set to release their 14 song album internationally under the name of 2Fanga (Fla Fanga in Bambara language which translates as “Power of Two”)
Baba Konate Percussionist, teacher, craftsman Burkina Faso, 1974
Baba Konate comes from a long line of griots (West African poets and praise singers) whose music is passed on from father to son. He began learning percussion at the age of 5 and his talent and passion for music soon earned him a position as a soloist within his family.
At the age of 18 he founded the Badema troop, comprising percussionists, dancers and singers. At the same time he was trained as an artistic director by the teachers Alassaned Kongo and Yaya Konate from the Ministry of Arts and Culture of Burkina Faso.
Today, he divides his time between concerts in Africa and Europe, participating in National Culture Weeks, teaching and making percussion instruments (djembe, tama, dumdum and balafon)
Babe Konate is a musician with vision who strives to bring his musical traditions into contact with the rest of the world. This spirit of engagement has brought him together with many musicians from other cultures and these encounters have driven him to develop his music and his ideas: an endeavour which has naturally brought him to work with jazz, blues or modern music groups.
Baba Konate has been director of Troupe Badema since its creation in 1992. The troop regularly gives concerts and performs at festivals and cultural competitions in Burkina Faso. In 2004 he toured France with his group, giving a number of percussion workshops (Musique du Bac, J B de la Salle )
Since 2002, he has been a sideman in the By-Spiel Project and has joined them on tour in Switzerland, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Madagascar. He's also played with the group at a number of festival: Jazz à Ouaga (Burkina Faso), Saint-Louis Jazz festival (Senegal), French Cultural Centre in Dakar, Just4U in Dakar (Senegal), Madajazzcar (Madagascar), Jazz at L'A.M.R, Geneva (Switzerland).
In his work teaching musical language at the Conservatoire de Geneve, he has joined forces with a professor there, Pascal Schaer, to develop teaching materials (sheet music, CD, etc) to help students learn rhythm, tempo and group work. He has performed with Pascal Schaer's quartet at numerous concerts in Switzerland and France, notably at the Altdorf (Lucerne) and Lafi Bala (Chambery) international festivals. He is also a sideman of the Swiss group NK. In 2005 he has continued to run teacher workshops at the Conservatoire de Geneve as also runs children's workshops on musical awareness and elementary and advanced music in Burkina Faso and Geneva.
Baba Konate has performed with: Olombelo Ricky (perc), Maurice Magnoni (saxophone), Lars Lindvall (trumpet), Cyril Moulas (guitar), Michel Wintch (piano), Beatrice Graf (drums), Andreas Fulgosi (guitar), Luigi Galati (drums), Pascal Schaer (trombone), Nicola Orioli (clarinet), Bassekou Kouyate (n'goni,) Neba Solo (balafon).
Guillaume Lagger Harmonica, percussions Switzerland, 1977
Born in 1977 in Geneva, Guillaume Lagger received in 1989 a small diatonic harmonica as a Christmas gift from his oncle Jacky Lagger, a singer and multi instrumentalist from the Wallis Kanton. Drawn by the blues Guillaume learns to blow this instrument almost totally by himself and soon accompanies his brother Greg who got a guitar somewhat earlier.
After a while the group Reggal is born with Christian Fürst on bass guitar. The group plays folk blues songs composed by Greg who sings in English. Between 1994 and 2000 they perfom at bars and small scenes and record two albums “The Reggal Harmonica” in 1995 and “Trio” in 1999.
Next to Reggal, up until today, Guillaume plays occasionally with Jacky Lagger on albums and on stage. Like e.g. at the Paleo Festival de Nyon with the show “Les Terrestres Extras”.
Still exploring his instrument Guillaume also continues to play together with a variety of musicians and in 1997 he meets a group that will gradually become more important to him: L’Ironie du Son. Also during that time he discovers a new passion: percussion. Some time after acquiring his first set of congas he meets L’Ironie du Son backstage at L’Undertown in Geneva. That is the start of a long collaboration in several stages and line ups. Little by little Guillaume takes his harmonica out of its pocket till he finally plays it exclusively from the 2003 album “Nuage Fou”. L’Ironie du Son is still his “main” groupe where he has developed a style of his own after four albums and more than one hundred concerts.
Guillaume Lagger has been extending his musical activities during the same time to collaborations with the Senegalese singer Kara from 1999 to 2002, Imago, Jewish music with jazz influences from 2004 - 2005, with singer Mr. Peach from 2006 - 2007 and Vagalatschk, exploring Balkan and klezmer sounds from 2006 - 2008. Since the beginning of 2006 he accompanies the Piere Lautomne, a singer from Geneva. During 2006 the first solo album of Jonas, the rapper of L’Ironie du Son sees its release and a group containing 8 Suisse and African musicians is formed around him for a tour. Guillaume is one of them, mostely on percussion and sometimes on harmonica. At the end of 2007 Guillaume joins the group Andra Bachleda & The Technicolor Orchestra and since the summer of 2008 he plays with Canadian bluesman Marc-Andre Leger who has setttled in Geneva recently.
2009 has another musical adventure starting for Guillaume as he teams up with Raaga Trio for the recording of their first album.
The Other Edge
01: Guillaume Wele part 1
02: Guillaume Wele part 2
03: On Est Parti
04: Massa Djour
05: Mouso Donké
10: Sans Dantié
Andreas Fulgosi: guitar, banjo
Andra Kouyaté: n'goni bass, n'goni, tamani, voice
Baba Konaté: djembé, percussion
Guillaume Lagger: harmonica
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