Words by Garth Cartwright
Photo by Pascal Quiquempoix
While the festival runs across Friday-Saturday-Sunday evenings a lot of good music also happens outside the festival: on Thursday night there were four stages of free music set up along the waterfront, while Sunday morning had maloya (La Réunion’s indigenous Creole sound) legend Danyel Waro performing on a tiny stage beside the sea. International acts included mighty soul singer Sharon Jones, France’s Tom Fire (imaginative dub) and Chinese Man (dancehall).
Best of all was the local talent: Christine Salem is surely the queen of maloya, her powerful voice and intense presence creating a trance music of great power. Salem also joined French band Moriarty onstage to tear through several old Leadbelly songs. Lindigo, a popular eight-piece maloya band, generated a huge sound that echoed across the ocean. And Waro was, as always, phenomenal.
La Réunion is a tropical island of great beauty and much fabulous music. Sakifo Festival gives you the chance to experience a local musical feast. See you there in 2013.