Guest post by Renee Ordway
In their home country of Niger in West Africa the energetic and generous group is known to play for as long as five hours at a time.
Tal National is so busy that the 14-member group has split into two groups.
One tours and the other stays in Niger playing in night clubs and weddings.
Their music represents the very diverse culture of Niger.
Band leader and guitarist Almeida – who is a judge by day – says American Folk Festival goers can expect a very energetic show that is a little bit rock and roll.
“We incorporate different musical elements into our sound while still making it accessible to everyone – even children. People familiar with music can have fun hearing the combined sound and everyone else can just have fun dancing,” he told me.
Known for lightening fast rhythms, Almeida says the band’s songs are a combination of traditional folk songs and original compositions.
In a review of their latest album release “Zoy Zoy” a New York Times reviewer wrote, “Guitar licks, hopscotching bass lines, cymbal off beats, talking drums, all land with microscopic precision and can reconfigure in an instant.”
Renee volunteers for the American Folk Festival, sits on the Board at the Bangor Humane Society and lives in Bangor with her husband.