The Caribbean Musical Melting Pot: Keeping it Real?

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Gemma Cairney reports on attempts to keep musical traditions alive on both Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico. In Guadeloupe – much of the music is driven by a belief in “you have to know where you come from to know where you’re going” and many young people are rediscovering their Creole music and language as a result. Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, they have created their own 'soca' – Reggaeton – which has gained international success, although many of the musicians have left for places like Miami to exploit their commercial success. Left behind is a movement to rediscover the more traditional roots of Puerto Rican music – particularly 'plena'. Gemma interviews the father of Zouk and founder of Kassav, Pierre-Edouard Décimus, Gwoka band Kan’nida, and Guadeloupian singer Tanya St Val. She finishes her journey in Puerto Rico in the land of Reggaeton and visits the studio of Reggaeton godfather DJ Nelson and chats to "Ileana "iLe" Cabra, vocalist of Puerto Rico’s Calle 13, and Puerto Rican Rumba and Bata band ÌFÉ. (Photo: Guadeloupian band Kan’nida in their rehearsal studio)

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