A Taranaki band which draws from members' seven different cultures finally makes its Hawke's Bay debut with an appearance at the Hawke's Bay Latin Dance club in Napier on Friday.
Banana Mundo, an eight-piece with members from Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, France, Switzerland, England and New Zealand, was to have played in Napier on March 5 but the show was put off because of the Covid-19 alert level 2 restrictions on public gatherings imposed just five days earlier.
The group has resumed a North Island tour to celebrate the release of its third single 'The Kaponga Cumbia Club', from its 'Hola' album being released this month.
Banana Mundo's unique collective melds what has been referred to as "an infectious worldly mix of upbeat multilingual Latin and Afro Beat tunes".
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It comprises French keysanova Severin Thiebaut on hot salsa flavoured keys, brassiliant English tenor and soprano trombone player Tombone Roberts, West Coast Kiwi Robin Wells on jazzy sax, guitar genius Andres Duran, from Uruguay, accordion player Naomi Kuttner, Argentinian percussionist Nico Paladini and Venezuelan drummer Christian Jacobsoni Rangel, fronted by Swiss musician Andre Manella on bass, clave, percussion and lead vocals.
Banana Mundo grew out of house party jam sessions Manella held throughout the winter of 2018, which he says morphed into a band that plays Afrobeat and Latin grooves, somehow named after a popular fruit.
"These days, despite national tours, booked out gigs and an enthusiastic fan base, Banana Mundo still retains the lively feel of a group of friends enjoying music together," he says.
The new single, he says, grew out of the "completely-made-up-but-still-true story" of mythical events in dairy country around Kaponga.
A farmer "many years ago" excavated beneath a 40ft container to create an underground Latin Club, where locals could sample cumbia rhythms and bootie shake all night on the dance floor, he says. The song is a tribute to the mythical club.
The Hawke's Bay Latin Dance Club is based in the historic Soldiers Club Building, a Louis Hay design and built in 1916, opposite the Ocean Spa heated pools and fitness centre on Napier's Marine Parade. It opens at 7pm on Friday with supporting act and live DJ set from the Alzbeta Tango Project.