Drummer Frank Paco - who hails from Mozambique - and his three-piece band, the Art Ensemble, will be at Radisson Red on Friday night as part of Music Exchange 2019.
Also on the bill will be the duo Didi & Jules – who play violin and guitar. This dynamic duo creates a contemporary sound through their performances, which range from reggae to classic rock to gipsy electronic sounds.
Paco has played with the who’s who of music including The 46664 Nelson Mandela concert performing with Bono of U2, Queen’s guitarist Bryan May, a drum duet with Roger Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Jimmy Cliff, Jonny Clegg, Angelique Kidjo, together with his brother Tony Paco on percussion.
He has also co-founded Tucan Tucan, Virtual Jazz Reality, Loading Zone (together with Jimmy Dludlu and John Hassan) and Uhambo – a collaboration between South Africa, Denmark, Norway and Mozambique.
In 2014, Paco released his debut album entitled Buyanini. 2016’s second release is the album entitled New Horizons both for his band Frank Paco Art Ensemble, which features some of the finest international and local musicians.
As a session musician, he is featured on more than 60 albums, 10 of which were award winners.
I spoke to him, last week, in Maputo.
When are you happiest? Never been happier than when I’m in a space in which my creative juices flow freely – be it behind the drum kit, when composing or in the recording studio.
What does music mean to you? I cannot imagine living in a world without this phenomenon called music – it heals, touches souls, transcends all barriers, it can make you cry and bring joy too many; it’s a universal language.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work? I thank God for having showered me with this gift of music, it affords me the joy of connecting with the world, travelling and being myself, expressing my feelings with everyone through my performances and composition.
What drives you: ego or humility? What drives me is the ability to stay grounded, knowing that I’m not alone in this life journey, as I need others to help me realise my dreams and make sure that others can count on me too to help shape theirs. The key elements are humility, assertiveness and hard work is the key to success.
What is your most treasured possession? My drum kit.
It’s your round what are you drinking? A glass of Thelema Merlot, please.
What makes you stand out? I feel that by acknowledging other bandmates and making room for them in the music it creates a symbiotic effect that, in return, heightens my performance.
If you were not a musician, what would you do? Science and innovation fascinate me, so I’d be in one of those fields.
Pick five words to describe yourself? Down-to-earth, charismatic, fun-loving, hardworking, loving.
Favourite fashion garment? My hat.
Give us some real proper slang and what it means? “Dala what you must”: Do what you have to do.
What do you complain about most often? Plastic pollution.
Happiness is? Sharing a very good glass of merlot and laughter with someone special.
On stage, I tend to? Dance a lot behind the kit.
Where would you like to be right now? In my studio working on my forthcoming album.
Do you do charity work and, if you do, what do you do? I do workshops for youth development in music and life skills.
Wishes and dreams? To be remembered as someone who’s left a legacy of hope for our youth in their career choice in music. Open the minds of people, inspire and unify through my music.
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