Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Benin!

The set up for the Independence Day Concert. 

On August 1st, Benin celebrated the 51st anniversary of its independence. CIAMO was proud to play a large role in the festivities that took place in Ouidah.  CIAMO administrator and MC extraordinaire, Wilfrid Houndje, was part of the planning committee and helped to spread the news that CIAMO was ready to take on Independence Day. 

As a result City hall and CIAMO together produced one of the biggest concerts of the year at the amphitheater at Fort Français in downtown Ouidah, just 200 meters from the center.  The live event consisted of traditional dance, a fashion show, and a live concert given by a band comprised of CIAMO’s artists, of which three headlined the concert.  The CIAMO Girls Choir sang backup.

Leni Stern work with the band by teleconference.

For CIAMO, activities started last Monday, when all the composers got together and started jamming. During the week, they had the opportunity to work with Artist in Residence, Leni Stern, by teleconference. Every night until Sunday’s concert the composers worked relentlessly, perfecting their music and orchestrations. Leni’s presence at some of the rehearsals gave them just the push they needed to create a spectacular concert! 

Sound Check! 

The band hard at work! 

In the end, Ben Kara, Euloge of Orcheste Synthèse, and Sim DeSouza, with Ake Musique as opener, put on an incredible show on July 31st that more than 2000 people came out to see.  

A big thank you goes out to the Mayor of Ouidah, Severin Adjovi, and everyone at City Hall who worked with us on the concert and gave it the support that it needed to be a success!  

Happy Birthday Benin! 

CIAMO's girls working hard! 

If we had sold tickets, it would have been a sellout! 

Mayor Silverin Adjovi was impressed by the tailors' work. 

Sim, dance this one out! 

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