Black Heritage Talks Africa at the Quasimodo
Music danced on friday at the Quasimodo where the Berlin-formed outfit Black Heritage played to a full room. Their music incorporates a wide range of influences, from African rhythms to the wild roots of Jazz and Gospel choirs from America and the beautiful shrill ring of Arabic.
Black Heritage are an innovative group who create original music. Lead guitarist and vocalist Mike Russell from Washington D.C is a master of his instrument and the blues, he introduced MFA Kera as, ´the voice´, she flowed out dressed in white and wearing a striking yellow and green head-dress.
From the moment that Kera began singing she captured the crowd’s attention. Her range in voice is as flexible as the music of Black Heritage is versatile. Kera who is from Madagascar addressed the crowd in German and sings in English, French, Arabic and several African dialects. From impressive deep lows for the soul and jazz numbers to high piercing notes that come from exotic places, Kera´s voice is pure art.
The sound of Black Heritage is lent an electric lining by their keyboarder and composer/arranger, Reinhard Katemann – the only German member of the early 90´s-formed group. Reinhard adds tangible atmosphere to the sound of Black Heritage that is part funky and part psychedelic. Black Heritage packs so much vibe into their set that at times I thought they had enough music for two groups. Interestingly the dynamic between Reynolds and Kera, which is the driving force of the group, becomes almost competitive at times – though this is understandable as they both have such big sounds.
Black Heritage promotes peace and good times and have a new release, “Talking Africa”, available online.
Review by Andrew Beard