ITALIAN guitar virtuoso Forcione’s show is an annual event, and this year’s is themed on Africa where he has spent a considerable amount of time in recent years and which is the inspiration for his new album.
Antonio Forcione – Sketches of Africa
Assembly George Square
Star rating: * * * *
His travels have clearly influenced both his playing and his composing – and brought him new collaborators, including Seckou Keita, a top Senegalese kora player who, along with percussionist Dado Pasqualini, accompanies him on his Fringe show.
The Assembly tent became an African caravan thanks to Forcione’s evocative music which, on a couple of occasions, had members of the audience leaping to their feet to dance – very professionally (they did seem to be plants).
Forcione’s music is atmospheric and very repetitive, a characteristic that works better on some numbers, where the repetition is used to dramatic effect, than others where a sense of beginning, middle and end would be welcome.
Easily the stand-outs in what was generally a joyful, uplifting concert were those numbers which embraced that side of Africa. Madiba’s Jive, a tribute to Nelson Mandela, brilliantly conjured up the spirit of the great African leader with his life-affirming outlook and irresistible smile. Forcione and Keita played it while trying to dance; Forcione with guitar managing some simple moves which he challenged Keita, holding the cumbersome kora, to copy. All good fun, and very much in keeping with the party mood.
• Until 27 August. Today 7:40pm.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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