Sakifo Festival – St Pierre, La Réunion, June 1-3

Posted on July 6th, 2012 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Words by Garth Cartwright
Photo by Pascal Quiquempoix

Sakifo has already been nominated by Songlines as one of the world’s 25 Best Music Festivals and its ninth outing proved it deserves all the accolades offered.

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.


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