Horns of Plenty like to play the wonderful and varied music we have encountered from around the world, in diverse genres and rhythms. A lot of tunes come from New Orleans (USA), which has a strong Carnival street band tradition. But often we need an arrangement for the instruments that we have in the band – mostly saxes and brass plus percussion – of tunes which were written for very different instruments. And we like to mix things up a bit, playing a New Orleans second line tune, Iko Iko, over a rhythmic base of Maracatu from North East Brazil, for example. We even do a Ska version of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy) which we call Ode to Jah.
Other tunes come from the Balkans and Middle East. Misirlou was originally a traditional love song with roots in Greek (rebetiko) and Egyptian traditions. And of course the irrepressible Aa Ante Amalapuram is (unmistakably) from South India.
One of our latest tunes is called Marabi, played by Mafikizolo, an Afro-pop group/band from South Africa. It is made up of lead singer/composer Nhlanhla Sibongile Mafu Nciza and singer/songwriter Theo Kgosinkwe. Their music is also influenced by kwaito and they have been credited with a genre called Kwela after their style of music. It has been described as kwaito-cum-marabi house music. Their music deals with pertinent social issues such as women and children abuse.
We keep adding new tunes to our repertoire, but it currently includes the following tunes and styles:
La Cumparsita Gerardo Matos Rodríguez
Balkans/Middle East Balkans
Bubamara Nele Karajlic
L’Oriente est Rouge Kocani Orkestar
Brazil Bossa nova, Samba reggae
Aquarela do Brasil Ary Barroso
Uma historia de Ifa (Eligibo) Ara Ketu
Cumbia la Colegiala Walter León Aguilar (Peru)
All for you E.T. Mensah
Aa Ante Amalapuram Devi Sri Prasad
Jamaica and UK Ska & Reggae
A Message to you Rudy Skatalites
Al Capone Prince Buster
Rockfort Rock Rafael Marín / Skatalites
Swing Easy The Skatalites
Hotel Diamante les Bains Michel Godzom
Colo’ Mentality Fela Kuti
South Africa Township
African Marketplace Abdullah Ibrahim
Jive Soweto Sipho Hotstix Mabuse
Pata Pata Miriam Makeba
The Chicken Pee Wee Ellis
I Feel Good James Brown
New Orleans Second Line
Bourbon Street Parade Paul Barbarin
Iko Iko James Crawford / the Dixie Cups
Lil Lisa Jane Ada de Lachau
You Move Ya Lose Rebirth Brass Band
Story of a Horns tune – keeping Hotel Diamante les Bains alive
Hotel Diamante les Bains is a Beguine, a popular style that emerged in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the 1930s. Written by Michel Godzon, it was popular number in the legendary world-music BongoGo discos run by the late Brian Parsons in Birmingham during the 1980s. The tune has all but disappeared from the contemporary record.
Horns of Plenty wrote an arrangement, and we are in all likelihood the only people playing this delicious tune. We like to think we are keeping it alive.
Here is the original tune https://youtu.be/xekn982bq8Q
(Horns of Plenty’s version to follow)