ShowtimeSaturday 8:30 pm
OriginBurkina Faso via Montréal, Québec
GenresAfrican, Contemporary, Roots, Traditional
Bonsa Toun’wanzè was born in 1978 in Burkina Faso. His family left soon afterwards to settle in Ghana, where he spent his entire childhood. Toward age 15, he left Ghana and went on a long journey that led him to countries including Niger, Togo, Libya and Mauritania, finally ending up back in Burkina Faso, his native country. The music he played at his hair salon in Fada would earn him the nickname “R. Kelly.” It was not until the early 2000s, however, that Bonsa acquired a certain fame when he founded the hip hop duo Les Negramers. An encounter with the renowned Biri, a master griot and farmer of the Bissa ethnic group in Boulgou province proved to be a turning point in his musical career. This encounter enabled him to rediscover the musical of his homeland and gave him the opportunity to perfect and develop his own technique on the koanni, a traditional percussive two-string bass guitar that would later become his trademark. After this four-year retirement, he returned to the stage in 2008. An album was released, followed by tours in Africa and Europe that achieved great success. He then continued to pursue his musical research and creation along a Burkinabe “tradi-modern” path, rooting his compositions in the Bissa tradition while maintaining the various contemporary influences that form his musical world. He moved to Montréal in 2016 and, without losing any time, surrounded himself with musicians including Sébastien Pilon and Pavel Maximytchev. In 2017, the Bonsa group won the Syli d’Or for World Music.