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BWLI Students and Committee

Global Grooves

Watcha Clan headlines world music dance party


09/23/2009

MCLA will open up its largest venue, the Venable Gymnasium, for a high-energy evening of dancing with one of the most exciting bands on the world music circuit.

Musical nomads Watcha Clan bring their U.S. tour to campus Wednesday, September 30, at 8 p.m. as part of the MCLA Presents! series The World.

The opening act is Paper Cliché, featuring MCLA student Mike Martin '11.

A French quartet from Marseille that's known for their multi-ethnic tunes and fusion of melodic styles, Watcha Clan combines the sounds of their travels and their experiences from around the world. The result is an intensely energetic, modern sound that's based in the musical traditions of many different countries.

Keyboard player Clement Queysanne, who also serves as the group's producer, says the influences for Watcha Clan's uniquely mixed music come from North Africa, Spain, and Turkey, Jewish traditions, and hip-hop.

"We rearrange traditional melodies in a modern way," he says. "Our show is very energetic. We have the traditional songs but we perform them in a rock way. People dance a lot. There's a lot of energy coming from the stage to them and they give it back to us."

Sista K, the band's lead singer, brings her heritage to the group's performances. Her mother is from Lithuania and her father is from Algeria.

"When I was a child, I listened to a lot of traditional music from North Africa and Eastern Europe," says Sista K. "I began a with reggae beat, Afro music. When I had my own band, I wanted to do something original with my background."

Watcha Clan combines rhythms and languages, including French, Arabic, Hebrew and English, blurring the line between the traditional and the modern with their fusion-style music.

"I try to make something for everybody, young people and old," says Sista K, who will join her band mates in speaking in several classes before the show. "I'm very open. I like every style of music."

Watcha Clan is co-presented with the Student Activities Council. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for MCLA alumni, $5 for MCLA faculty and staff. MCLA Presents! members and students get in free.

People who attend that evening's North Adams mayoral debate at MCLA's Church Street Center receive a special $10 ticket price.

For tickets, call (413) 662-5204.

MCLA Presents! is a project of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center.  For more information, call (413) 664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/presents.