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Welcome to Surinam Alex Figueira (Calypso and Afro Latin sounds from Surinam) – Vintage Voudou Amsterdam lundi 11.02 à 23h sur FMR

Kaseko jump-up! Swinging Kawina, Calypso and Afro Latin sounds from Surinam.

It’s probably safe to say that Surinam is not the most well known country in South America, although it it the smallest. Wedged on the Caribbean coast between Guyana, French Guiana and Brazil, the ex-Dutch colony has produced some great and overlooked music.

Alex Figueira (of Vintage Voudou Records in Amsterdam) runs through some classic Kaseko and Kawina sounds he picked up on his recent trip

For several hundred years Dutch colonists brought slaves and indentured labourers from Africa, India and Indonesia, leading to an extremely diverse population and mix of cultures – perhaps most evident in the music (and the food).

Kaseko music began to develop in the 1950s when musicians combined calypso influences from neighbouring Guyana and Trinidad with Afro-Cuban rhythms, Francophone Cadence and the traditional Kawina music (a continuation of the African rhythms that had survived slavery), leading to a uniquely Surinamese sound.

Apart from stars like Lieve Hugo and the Mighty Botai few artists made it onto a wider stage, and despite the wealth of music recorded locally it is little known outside the Surinamese community.