THE sounds of world beat music reverberated inside the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston last Thursday, as Algerian artiste Fethi Tabet took his audience on a musical voyage.
Tabet, who was performing in Jamaica for the first time, was here at the invitation of the Alliance Française, the educational and cultural arm of the French embassy.
During the two-hour concert, Tabet and his multicultural band — members are of French, Tunisian, Brazillian, Senegalese and Algerian origin — had the audience rocking.
The songs performed predominantly in French, were for the most part taken from his most recent album Medité and the tracks featured different influences.
They brought to mind Arabian belly dancers; the market sounds of Zanzibar, the streets of Marakech and the favellas of Brazil.
The sounds of the Caribbean were not missing as zouk, the music of the French West Indies could also be heard.
Midway through his set, with one of his band members acting as interpreter, Tabet called for audience participation. With some encouragement, patrons rose from their seats and soon the front of the stage became a packed dance floor.
What resulted was a swinging world beat party, as patrons used up the aisles or simply stood in their seats to soak up the music and participate in tabet's "call and response".
President of Alliance Française, Françoise Cavaer, noted that the role of her organisation was to make French language and culture more accessible to Jamaicans.
Although the auditorium was not filled to capacity, those in attendance definitely showed an appreciation for the music of Fethi Tabet.