• Main Stage
    Sunday 14•July•2024

The arrival of a "best of” is clear evidence that front-woman Marie Daulne is still seeking and finding new musical pathways. The Congo-born and Brussels-raised composer, activist, singer and teacher of vocal polyphony has held the reins at Zap Mama since the start of the 1990s.

With her début in 1991 on David "Talking Head” Byrne’s Luakabop label with "Adventure in Afropea”, she stayed at the top of the World Music Billboard charts for 11 weeks, toured Europe, America and Japan and shared the stage with acts including The Neville Brothers, Al Jarreau and Bobby McFerrin. Her polyphonic acapella women's quintet allows the world to discover something she refers to as "Afropean” music, targeted at an increasingly substantial and vocal bi-cultural generation of Afro-Europeans. Daulne effortlessly blends music and fashion and equips her ethnically inspired songs with a hefty dose of often transcendental musical globalism. This unique blend has also delivered a Grammy nomination.

From the middle of the 1990s, she has injected her compositions with "urban style” and has joined hands with The Roots, Arrested Development and Questlove, among others. Just consider, for a moment, the fifth Zap Mama album "Ancestry In Progress” with Erykah Badu and others, the fantastic single "Bandy Bandy” and the flawless combination of Afro-American and Afro-European influences. David Gilmore, Meshell Ndegeocello and the legendary afro-beat drummer Tony Allen have also crossed her path.

After the death of her mother and an unrelenting period of grief, she took an extended break in 2011. During this period, intense emotions impacted her vocal range and it took until 2016 for her to get back on her feet. As well as new work, Daulne is increasingly offering lessons in "Ethno Therapy Vocal” - sound and music therapy - and also provides readings in which cultural heritage and creativity are presented from a female perspective. Zap Mama’s latest album 'Odyssée’ (2022), sung entirely in French, once again contains an eclectic sound which leans heavily on African influences and polyphonic singing.

For the concert at Gent Jazz, Zap Mama can draw on a sumptuous treasure trove of music with an international collective value that covers over thirty years. For Zap Mama, this is a unique opportunity to challenge the future via the foundations of the past.