Washington Post, February 14, 1995
Sukay - Performing Arts
by Joe Banno
||Strumming away at his guitar and drawing soulful
melody from the panpipes propped against his colorful poncho, Eddy Navia of the Andean
music group Sukay looked like Bolivias answer to Bob Dylan. The image seemed
apropos, as the quartets rousting Baird Auditorium program on Sunday offered new
music steeped in an inherited folk tradition dating as far back as the Incas.
Like so much world music, Sukays songs were neither archaic nor
inaccessible, but they teased the ear with striking similarities to other folk cultures.
The full throated vocals of group founder Quentin Howard brought to mind not only other
South American music, but the music of Eastern Europe, North Africa and Southeast Asia.
The wooden flutes would probably have fit right in a Celtic wedding
or a Renaissance fair. Even closer to home was guitar playing that revealed an obvious
kinship to flamenco and mariachi, and a more unexpected one to our own bluegrass and
In fact, for all of the infectious dance music and haunting sounds
from the five-foot panpipes and goat-hoof rattles, it was the guitar playing that most
impressed, particularly when Navia made his miniature "charango" guitar sing
like a dulcimer.
My only wish was that the concert had been less
aggressively (and ineptly) miked, so that the instruments might have sounded more natural.
But I suppose they complained when Dylan went electric too.
Sukay World Music, Suite 523, 3450 Sacramento
Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel/415 646-0018 Fax/415 646-0066
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