Co-produced with Harbourfront Centre and sponsored by TD Bank.
SOUKUSTEK was born under the gaze of the Caribbean Sea surrounding the Coastal city of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia.
"It is a combination of life experiences, dreams and joys that have fed off of our direct connection to Africa."
SOUKUSTEK combines the rhythms and the sounds of guitars that arrived from Africa in the Seventies and seamlessly blends them with the flavour of the Colombian Caribbean. SOUKUSTEK is dance, joy, and history: it is Africa in Colombia, it is the music of the "pico" culture, "live" on stage.
"When we were kids, on weekends, we'd fall asleep and awaken the next morning to the same thunderous beat and those African guitar melodies blasted out by powerful machines popularly called "Picos" or "Pickups." So were the African rhythms that influenced our culture since the beginning of Black History in Colombia." – Tury Morey.
This project started in 2000 when Cartagenero guitarist and producer "Tury Morey" and master guitarist, Claro Torres from Baru Island in Colombia, decided to join forces to form a band to recreate those sounds that arrived from Africa in the seventies.
In 2002 Tury Morey went to Canada on tour as guitarist for the Caribbean Rock band Wayove from Cartagena. Following this tour, he settled in this new country where he continued to grow musically, venturing out as an independent musician and sharing the stage with African Music Star Ricardo Lemvo of "Mambo Yoyo" fame. While in Toronto, he also performed with Toronto-based Salsa band "SALSA AFRICA," and Puerto Rican Salsa legend, David Pabon; he was David Pabon's guitarist of choice.
In late 2010, Tury Morey returned to his native Cartagena with the commitment to resume his life project – recreating the sounds of the old "Pico." He proceeded to make it a reality.
Claro Torres was born in the village of Santa Ana Bolívar in Baru Island. He was a pioneer of the Afro-Caribbean guitar style since his beginnings with Justo Valdez, and was later instrumental to the development of the Terapia Criolla movement as the guitarist of Kussima and Hernan Hernandez in the nineties. He has earned the recognition of many to be one of the best guitarists in the Colombian-Caribbean music scene.
At this time SOUKUSTEK is preparing Asina Jue, their production that combines Caribbean rhythms with their unique Afro-Caribbean flavour, and lyrics in "Palenquero," a language that endured through the Maroons' fight against enslavement.
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