An evening of African vocal harmonies by Montreal-based H’Sao will fill the Harrison Memorial Hall on Saturday 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 15 years 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 skillful and heartfelt as it is unique.
“H’Sao really have developed a distinctive and soulful sound,” says 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.”
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. Locals may recognize the group from earlier performances at the Harrison Festival, both in the hall and on the beach stage.
H’Sao is presented by Harrison Festival Society. The concert is Saturday, April 8 at 8 p.m. at the Harrison Memorial Hall.
Tickets $22 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 Avenue.