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Biography

Fra Fra Sound
For nearly three decades, the Surinam-Caribbean septet Fra Fra Sound has played a prominent part within the international jazz and world music scene. Founded in Amsterdam in 1980, Fra Fra Sound has expanded its initial fascination with music styles of Surinam by incorporating other musical influences from the Caribbean, Africa and the United States. The cultural and artistic value of their crossover music is constantly growing.
Remarkable is that Fra Fra Sound feels at home on world-music stages and –festivals, in jazz clubs and –festivals, but also in theatres and concert halls. The same for the audience: world-music lovers, jazz connoisseurs and crossover aficionados all feel attracted to Fra Fra’s catchy music.

Over the past couple of years, Fra Fra played some successful shows in Europe, in diverse countries in Africa, in the area around the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, South-America and in the United States.

Since the establishment in the beginning of the eighties, several musicians have been a member of Fra Fra Sound and the band has witnessed different artistic phases. In the beginning the exploration of Surinam kaseko, kawina and winti enjoyed the main focus, but Fra Fra Sound moved on started to concentrate on other genres as well.

Since the beginning of the nineties, Fra Fra Sound uses this freedom to combine and research diverse musical styles, rooted in Africa. Naturally Fra Fra Sound does not only see Caribbean and Latin-American music styles as music of the African Diaspora, but also jazz, blues, soul and gospel of the United States. Fra Fra Sound succeeded in creating their very own sound: in a subtle way Caribbean and African rhythms and grooves are being combined with jazz improvisation. African-Caribbean crossover avant la letter – one of the ways to characterise the music of Fra Fra Sound.

The name ‘Fra Fra’ has different meanings: it’s an intermediate form, but also it’s odd, strange, different and mysterious; it’s an invisible relationship. Besides this, Fra Fra is the name of a tribe in the North-West of Ghana: the Fra Fra people. The name of the group reflects the relationship between music, dance, religion and the philosophy from the African Diaspora and West-Africa.

The authentic connection between American jazz, Surinam kaseko and African rhythms are made comprehensible by Fra Fra Sound, in an organic and swinging way. Constant artistic development has put Fra Fra Sound in an open position, the group got the chance to start up several projects to accentuate African and Caribbean influences. Two examples are Kotabra/Kaseko Revisited and Mali Jazz. Kotraba/Kaseko Revisited is a project, where Fra Fra Sound turns back to her Surinam roots, in collaboration with several vocalists.

Line-up
Vincent Henar - basgitaar
Andro Biswane - gitaar
Carlo Hoop - percussie
Michael Simon - trompet
Efraïm Trujillo - saxofoon
Robin van Geerke - piano
T.b.a. - drums

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