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Bamako Airlines lands in SA

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Long live Afropop — Bamako Airlines.

And now, for something completely different — Bamako Airlines, an electrifying Austin-based band that offers dancefloor-friendly but musically challenging African grooves. Borrowing stuff from Mali to Madagascar, the band (named after Bamako, the capital of Mali) has a distinctive Afropop sound created by an international cast of well-trained musicians: San Antonio bassist Greg Goodman is a member of Sexto Sol and Austin's Kiko y La Banda; singer Meera Chandrasekaran was trained as a child in Indian classical music and loves North African sounds, as does trumpet player/trombonist/arranger Brian Carr; guitarist Chris Vestre played with Torch*; lead guitarist Michael Goldsmith comes from Austin's Red Corso; saxophonist Ryan McCormack has led UT's Afropop band; and drummer David Justh (of Austin Samba School) studied percussion in Brazil.

For their June 2 show at Carmens de la Calle, the band — which recently started work on their first album of originals and covers — delivers an extra treat: a guest appearance by Guinea's master percussionist Abou Sylla, who spent six years with Les Ballets Africains, Guinea's national dance company. It will be an explosive night of Nigerian juju, central African soukous, and a few touches of reggae and Ethio-jazz.

Bamako Airlines

9pm Sat, June 2
Carmens de la Calle
720 E Mistletoe
(210) 737-8272

* The original version of this story incorrectly identified Michael May as the group's guitarist. May is no longer with the group.

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