Rich In The Sound Of Delta And Desert, Snarky Puppy’s Michael League Leads Bokanté On Debut Album Strange Circles, Out June 9 On GroundUP 

Watch A Live Performance Of First Single “Jou Ké Ouvè” Here

March 7, 2017 – For the newly-formed international music ensemble Bokanté, connection is the foundation upon which all things are built. Rich in the sound of both delta and desert, the unusual but evocative instrumentation on their debut album Strange Circles, out June 9th on GroundUP Music, blends musical worlds to convey an urgent message of social awareness against the rising tide of exclusion and human indifference. The album goes from Zeppelin-esque blues stomp to folkloric Caribbean kaladja over the course of its ten tracks, blending the extensive and varied knowledge of the individual players with a strong, yet empathetic, lyrical approach.

The word bokanté means “exchange” in Creole, the language of vocalist Malika Tirolien’s youth growing up on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Now living in Montreal, she stands among eight musicians from four continents, each one accomplished in their own right and well versed in music far beyond that of their point of origin. Three-time Grammy award-winning guitarists Michael League, Chris McQueen, and Bob Lanzetti (all from Snarky Puppy), percussion legend Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Sting), pedal and lap steel virtuoso Roosevelt Collier (Lee Boys, Karl Denson), and unplaceable percussionists André Ferrari (Väsen) and Keita Ogawa (Banda Magda, Yo-Yo Ma) come together to create a diverse ensemble rich in groove, melody, and soul.

Singing in both Creole and French, Tirolien’s words draw nuanced pictures of the struggles we face in our world today- racism, the refugee crisis, a dying planet, apathy towards human suffering- and offer words of thankfulness for those things which unify us, as well as hope for the future of our race. Through it all, Bokanté is a vibrant image of what it wishes to see in the world: connection, unity, and love- through exchange.

Bokanté made their live debut last month at the inaugural GroundUP Music Festival, and they’ll make their international debut at the WOMADelaide Festival this weekend in Australia. The band will launch a world tour this summer, hitting five continents. Full list of tour dates to come.


Bokanté is:

Malika Tirolien - vocals

Jamey Haddad - percussion

André Ferrari - percussion

Keita Ogawa - percussion

Chris McQueen - guitar

Bob Lanzetti - guitar

Roosevelt Collier - lap and pedal steel guitars

Michael League - baritone guitar and bass


For more information on Bokanté, please contact Rob Krauser at REK Room Media, 917.703.8361 or!/