Fri, Sep 15, 2006 - Page 15 News List

Pan Africana showcases new riddims and threads

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pan Africana Cultural Troupe marries fashion and music.

PHOTO: JULES QUARTLY, TAIPEI TIMES

Your favorite group of African musicians not only has a new sound but is branching out into fashion this week.

The Pan Africana Cultural Troupe has been performing in Taiwan for the past four years and has built up a steady following with its frequent gigs and occasional TV appearances.

Led by the enterprising Ben Stobite Sampson and the musically challenging Rankin' Kim Douglas the ever-evolving group has a more Caribbean lilt these days.

A steel drum, xylophone and trumpet have been added to the base sound of African drums and the result is a tighter and more melodic sound that will attract new fans.

Outside the band's studio in Shida, Taipei, Sampson reaches into his suitcase and pulls out some men's shirts and women's dresses, all in brilliant colors and patterned with animal prints.

A leather bag made of bush goat is deep brown and has white leather stitching and innovative tooling. Sandal uppers are fashioned from goat hide and the soles are made from car tires.

There are also dried-wood African pendants, bracelets constructed out of colored electrical wire and big round nteh seeds formed into necklaces.

Sampson has just started importing textiles and jewelry from Takoradi in his native Ghana and plans to expand his business to China and other Asian nations.

“I want to open up the market to African goods,” Sampson said.

“Europeans and Americans know about these things but here people are still learning.”

Pan Africana will be showcasing its new sound and putting on a fashion show this tomorrow, at Sappho, starting at 10pm. The lounge bar is located at B1, 1, Ln 102, Anhe Rd, Sec 1, Taipei (台北市安和路1巷1號B1). Entrance is NT$200.

For more information visit www.panafricana.blogspot.com.

This story has been viewed 2999 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top