Energetic and festive funaná from Cape Verde.

Tabanka is a young Cape Verdean group from Rotterdam, whose music has been inspired by that of Cape Verdean artists from an older generation, such as Code di Dona, Bulimundo, Américo Brito and of course Bitori.

The group has a fresh and contemporary take on funaná: the upbeat, energetic and festive music and dance style, once forbidden by the Portuguese colonial rulers,  which became part of post-independence Cape Verdean identity in the eighties. Funaná was derived from the music from the descendants of slaves, mixed with contemporary pop and jazz. The base of the funaná are the diatonic accordion (gaita) and the rasping sound of the ferrinho, a notched metal bar played as a Caribbean guiro.

Tabanka knows how to put on an exuberant live show in which it is impossible to stand still.

Live Dates

Photo: Carlton Krips

Picture by Zoë Sluijs

“Best of all was the unbridled kick off that greeted Rotterdam’s Cape Verdeans, Tabanka, on the Blessum Stage… Tabanka topped all in terms of sheer fizz. The seven lads started like a train and just kept going, bashing out a steamy stew of Funaná. Couples gyrated and gurned and necked beer. Band members climbed speakers (in order to show off their press-up technique) whilst the crowd whooped and whistled and looked around for someone to cop off with. None of that faux silly little hand clap dance with hunched shoulders here! For shame tote bag owners! No, these lads kept the wrong side of reverential, and it worked big time.” – Louder Than War

“Op het grote podium speelde de Kaapverdiaanse formatie Tabanka. De lekkere zomerse muziek bracht de dansliefhebbers op de vloer en de vele belangstellenden genoten van de vrolijke muzikale klanken” – Brabants Dagblad

“Het moge duidelijk zijn dat Tabanka eigenlijk op geen enkel zomerfestival mag ontbreken. Ook al ben je niet vertrouwd met deze muziek, vroeg of laat ga je er vanzelf bij dansen.” – Mixed World Music

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