Montréal-based band from Chad, H’Sao has been capturing the hearts of audiences and taking over dance floors across the world since 2001. On February 21 at 7:30 p.m. they’ll be at The Mack, performing songs from their most recent album entitled Saar, a Kabalai word meaning “the Source.” Saar marks the band’s return to their roots.
The four members of H’Sao (pronounced as Ash – sah – oh) grew up together in Chad, Africa, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. Dono Bei Ledjebgue formed the a cappella group with his childhood friends, the three Rimtobaye brothers: Caleb, Mossbass, and Izrael.
The band’s passion for sharing their voices and harmonies to create a blend of modern sound and traditional African music is what makes them special, but you’ll be surprised to learn that the choice to become an a cappella group was based partly on the lack of available instruments.
“We developed a cappella skills because growing up our voices were the only instruments that we had,” says H’Sao drummer, Bei Ledjebgue. “The only place that you could touch a drum or a bass guitar was in a church on Sunday.”
Chad’s location in central Africa has meant their culture has absorbed influences from the countries that surround it. H’Sao blends the four main languages in Chad (French, English, Arabic, and the Chadian dialectic Kabalai) to create songs that have a universal sound.
“It doesn’t matter if you can’t understand the words, it’s about feeling the music,” says Bei Ledjebgue. He goes on to explain, “We want the people who come to our show to let the music take them on a journey through our culture.”
He also promises lots of dancing in the second half of the show. “In Africa we have to move when there is music playing, we can’t stand still, it’s a part of who we are,” says Bei Ledjebgue. He ends by saying “It’s a show for anyone looking for a fun way to discovery traditional African music performed using modern musical influences.”
H’Sao show is happening at The Mack On February 21 @ 7:30 p.m.
Special thanks are extended to Sobeys, the title sponsor for LIVE @ the Centre! Media sponsors are The Guardian, Ocean 100, and Hot 105.5. This show is supported by RADARTS.