Feature Story Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Hear My Song
Chadian music group performs a variety of styles and energetic choreography April 18
Bryan Cutler/Harrison Festival Society
H'Sao will be performing at the Harrison Memorial Hall April 8.
H’SAO, whose band members originate in the central African nation of Chad, has been capturing the hearts of small and large audiences alike since 2001. The band has always been passionate about sharing its unique blend of modern sounds and traditional African musical influences.
For the past decade and a half H’SAO has traveled the world, delivering electrifying performances, launching three innovative albums and, most of all, developing a musical signature that spans several genres and thus transcends the "world music" category.
When the band members were growing up in Chad, at first, voices were their only instrument. Then, brothers Caleb (guitar), Mossbass (bass) and Izra L (keyboard) along with their childhood friend Dono (drums) added musical instruments to their rich and inspired compositions.
Today, these self-taught musicians continue to weave their impressive a cappella harmonies into their powerful live performances. These seasoned musician-singers have stayed true to their roots, drawing from gospel, soul, R&B, reggae and Chadian music. The result is as skilful and heartfelt as it is unique.
"H’Sao really have developed a distinctive and soulful sound," observes Andy Hillhouse, Artistic Director of the Harrison Festival Society. "Since I first met them over a decade ago they have grown from a talented but very young group to a mature bunch of musicians with deep touring experience. There is a bit of a pop sensibility to their music but it is always rooted in the music of their homeland- it’s a lovely fusion of the modern and the traditional."
H'SAO performs a cappella like you've never heard it before.
Whether its style is labeled Afro-fusion or Afro-jazz, H’SAO is defined by the strength of its voices and vocal harmonies, its rhythms and its authenticity. Onstage, the band sets itself apart through energetic performances, punctuated by catchy choreography and warm interactions with the audience. This distinctive presence was sought by prominent festivals here and abroad, such as WOMAD (New Zealand), Brisbane Festival (Australia), Queensland (Australia), Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Francofolies, Luminato (Toronto), Montreal International Jazz Festival, Nuits d’Afrique, Festival d’été de
Québec, Coup de coeur francophone, Awesome Africa (Afrique du Sud), FrancoFête (Moncton). Locals may recognize the group from earlier performances at the Harrison Festival, both in the hall and on the beach stage.
Tickets for H’Sao are $22.00 and can be purchased online at www.harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604.796.3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison and Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart on Pioneer Ave.
About the Harrison Festival Society
Known worldwide for its professional artistry and small town hospitality, the Harrison Festival Society has long been a beacon for growing acceptance of diversity and purpose fuelled programming. Each July for more than 35 years the Society has produced the internationally acclaimed Harrison Festival of the Arts, a 9 day, cross disciplinary, multicultural art event set amidst the small town atmosphere and breathtaking scenery of Harrison Hot Springs, BC. A charitable non-profit, grass-roots organization, the Society also presents an annual Season of the Performing Arts from September to May and works closely with a number of Fraser Valley partners in continuing to bring high quality, inclusive and accessible performing arts into the area.
www.harrisonfestival.com │ 604.796.3664 │ info[@]harrisonfestival.com
Box 399, 98 Rockwell Dr, Harrison Hot Springs, BC V0M 1K0