H'Sao
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H'Sao

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | MAJOR | AFM

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | MAJOR | AFM
Established on Jan, 1995
Band World Afropop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
15
H'Sao @ festival molokai

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Jul
30
H'Sao @ Parc de l'ile lebel 396 Rue notre dame

Repentigny, Quebec, Canada

Repentigny, Quebec, Canada

Jul
10
H'Sao @ Mondial des Cultures de Drummondville

Drummondville, Quebec, Canada

Drummondville, Quebec, Canada

Music

Press


"Now a Québec transplant for almost 15 years, H’Sao has become a sure bet."

The distinctive voices and harmonies of Chadian ensemble H’Sao are recognizable at the very first notes. Their previous album, Oria, was their third, brimming with anger and the funky reproach of brass instruments, vocal beats, jazzy bass and heavy metal guitars. Here, the Rimtobaye family returns to its roots to deliver an album distilled down to its purest essence. It showcases the simplicity of bare voices, a capella or only accompanied by a neo-soul or bluesy acoustic guitar, perhaps a calabash. This fervent gospel from far-away N'Djamena is, paradoxically, what the band does best and, above all, with the most spontaneity. Now a Québec transplant for almost 15 years, H’Sao has become a sure bet. - Review from Voir By Ralph Boncy- july 06 2015


"RECAP/Review Koerner Hall – Saturday November 8, 2014"

Opening for Angelique was H’SAO (www.hsao.ca), a Montreal-based band originally from CHAD. H’SAO put on an amazing performance which could have easily carried the show as the main act. From their vocal renditions to the instrumental play, H’SAO was on point from start to finish, engaging the audience, who in turn showed their appreciation. H’SAO in our opinion is definitely worth seeing anytime you get the opportunity. - CFG Team Andre Herbert & KLM


"H'Sao: Chadian swallows hit the right note"


“Like swallows, we wanted to reach the highest mountain,” says Isra, the youngest member of this five-piece band from Chad. And they’re well on their way.

After years singing a capella, their fortunes changed in 2000 when they performed at a festival in the north of France and were able to buy a few instruments.
Now Canadian citizens, their music is a savvy mix of all the jazz, groove and R'n’b they’re surrounded by in their adopted city of Montreal along with the more traditional rhythms of their Central African country of birth.

Singing in French, English, Arabic, plus the Chadian languages of sara and kabalaye, H'Sao has become Chad’s n°1 band: the only one on the international scene.

“It’s good for us,” says the band’s drummer and singer Dono, “but sad too because we really want to have more artists.”

With no music scene, schools or structured music business, it’s hard for Chadian musicians to break through.

But the band hopes to do its bit by promoting Chadian culture as much as possible and stimulating change.

Their third, latest album Oria means “Are you fed up yet?”.

“There’s a lot of injustice in Africa,” says Isra “so for us it’s our role to sing and denounce that. Oria is about calling people to fight for their freedom, to protest, but peacefully.

“People have the right to strike, to protest,” adds Dono. “But in Chad many people don’t understand they have civil rights because they’re not well educated. So this is another type of fight we defend.”

Some of the songs on Oria such as are Poussez, Resistez, (push, resist) and This is why, are direct calls for action.

While One love talks of healing and building a new Chad.

“Chad has known war for more than 30 years,” says Isra. “But we can’t keep waiting for strangers to come and help, it’s up to us to build it “.

“One love is about saying we have to come together to make things happen,” says Dono.

The band hope to take their message back home in person; they’re planning to perform live in the coming months. - RFI english / by Alison Hird / 15-09-2013


"''They may not exactly be modeled after Take 6 or Ladysmith Black Mambazo.. ''"

They may not exactly be modeled after Take 6 or Ladysmith Black Mambazo, but the Chadian Rimtobaye family gives rhythm to its staccato chants with rather spectacular and original vocal harmonies. Brothers Caleb and Isra-L contribute most of the lead singing while Amos, alias Mossbass, plays a powerful bass reminiscent of Habib Faye. This third album by the only N’Djaména band transplanted to Montreal is decidedly not a capella. Everything about it has more bite, more muscle, more zest. In as many as five or six tongues, the musicians sing of revolt, humiliated peoples and countries to build. Allah ni ke oywa questions religion and warns: “Please inform the clergy up above that we are just about to lose our faith.” - Le Voir ( Montreal ) Ralph Boncy Feburary 21 2013


"''They may not exactly be modeled after Take 6 or Ladysmith Black Mambazo.. ''"

They may not exactly be modeled after Take 6 or Ladysmith Black Mambazo, but the Chadian Rimtobaye family gives rhythm to its staccato chants with rather spectacular and original vocal harmonies. Brothers Caleb and Isra-L contribute most of the lead singing while Amos, alias Mossbass, plays a powerful bass reminiscent of Habib Faye. This third album by the only N’Djaména band transplanted to Montreal is decidedly not a capella. Everything about it has more bite, more muscle, more zest. In as many as five or six tongues, the musicians sing of revolt, humiliated peoples and countries to build. Allah ni ke oywa questions religion and warns: “Please inform the clergy up above that we are just about to lose our faith.” - Le Voir ( Montreal ) Ralph Boncy Feburary 21 2013


"Album Critics"

Oria – are you fed up yet? H’sao asks this pressing question all throughout their third album, their most socially engaged to date. The first song sets the tone: “on behalf of the public interest, we are being watched, suspected, fine, indebted, confined, recorded, discharged, repatriated, listed, categorized”, vocals soaring high with the sound of soul over a progressively harder guitar line.
The voices are magnificent, in french and english but also in arabic, sara or kabalai. Theirs is a laic gospel with biting vocal harmonies, choppy voice percussions and the occasional machine-processed tones. Because now more than ever, H’sao produces an exciting mix with urban music, in their unique way of blending reggae to funk or soul(or vice-versa), often over chad rhythms. - Le Devoir ( Yves Bernard ) 15 Feburary 2013


"Album Critics"

Oria – are you fed up yet? H’sao asks this pressing question all throughout their third album, their most socially engaged to date. The first song sets the tone: “on behalf of the public interest, we are being watched, suspected, fine, indebted, confined, recorded, discharged, repatriated, listed, categorized”, vocals soaring high with the sound of soul over a progressively harder guitar line.
The voices are magnificent, in french and english but also in arabic, sara or kabalai. Theirs is a laic gospel with biting vocal harmonies, choppy voice percussions and the occasional machine-processed tones. Because now more than ever, H’sao produces an exciting mix with urban music, in their unique way of blending reggae to funk or soul(or vice-versa), often over chad rhythms. - Le Devoir ( Yves Bernard ) 15 Feburary 2013


"''... this band among the best of its kind in Montreal.''"

Native to Chad, the Montreal group H’Sao releases its third album: ORIA means “are you fed up yet?” This sums up the humanistic commitment of its members who stem from the Rimtobaye and Ledjebgue families, young people who have had to flee a culturally rich society broken by colonization, authoritarian regimes and civil wars.
This substantiates the tone of the album far beyond the Chadian context – it is a “prayer for peace, harmony, justice and love”. H’Sao mixes the traditional rhythms and chants of their area of origin to the typical actualizations of a globalized afro-pop – reggae, funk, soul, rock, afrobeat, pop jazz.
Multilingual chants and cohesive music are finely performed by these accomplished singers and musicians. The cohesion and technical level seen here undoubtedly place this band among the best of its kind in Montreal. - LA Presse ( Alain Brunet ) - 03 march 2013


"Nouvel album -Vol 235-CANADA"

Le 235, c'est le code régional de la République du Tchad. Les cinq frères et soeur Rimtobaye et leur cousin Charles Dono Beï sont tous de là-bas. Et s'ils ont réussi à réunifier leur famille au Québec, ils n'ont guère eu le loisir, depuis dix ans, de retourner à Ndjamena. D'où cet album ambivalent, soul et africain, festif et poignant de nostalgie. Dans l'ensemble, on dénote quelques faiblesses et une certaine candeur encore, mais H'Sao, c'est d'abord un bouquet vocal éclatant. Ce deuxième album très attendu débute d'ailleurs avec une reprise a cappella d'Aimer d'amour de Boule Noire. Le disque contient aussi un authentique tube afro-pop (Baby jolie), une chanson sur la tradition des mariages forcés (Sombre Noce) et plusieurs titres plus roots franchement réussis. - Ralph Boncy - Journal Voir - 10 Septembre 2009


"Une bande des six éclectique- CANADA"

Ils vont en avoir du plaisir, à l'ADISQ, quand viendra le temps de catégoriser le deuxième album de H'Sao : comment classer Vol 235 de la formation d'origine tchadienne ailleurs que dans « folk contemporain», «musique du monde», «pop-rock», « artiste s'exprimant dans une autre langue que le français «ET» groupe de l'année»?

Ce soir, à l'émission de télé Belle et Bum (Télé-Québec, 21 h), toute la bande - Caleb, Mossbass, Izra-L et Taroum de la famille Rimtobaye ainsi que leurs amis d'enfance Charles et Service Ledjebgue - interprétera quelques chansons de son nouvel album, mais également They Don't Care About Us de Michael Jackson, interprétée en langue sara, l'une des langues officielles du Tchad. Car Izra-L est un fan fini de Michael Jackson alors que Caleb, principal auteur-compositeur du groupe, cite, lui, Guns N' Roses et AC/DC au nombre de ses artistes cultes. Amateurs de folklore « typique », oubliez les boubous et faites place à un groupe de jeunes chanteurs blacks contemporains, amateurs aussi bien de rythmes des Caraïbes, de reggaeton, de soul, de hip-hop que de percussions africaines !



« À la base, on est restés nous-mêmes, explique Caleb en entrevue, c'est-à-dire qu'on écoute de la musique urbaine, comme on le faisait au Tchad (ils sont arrivés au Québec en 2001, avec le statut de réfugié), mais c'est encore plus accentué sur ce deuxième album. « Sur le premier disque, lancé en 2003, les jeunes chanteurs (ils ont aujourd'hui entre 21 et 30 ans) chantaient beaucoup a cappella parce que, n'ayant pu se payer d'instruments dans leur pays d'origine, ils ont tablé sur leurs seules voix pour créer leur répertoire.

Aujourd'hui, la situation est différente : sans tourner le dos au passé, ils évoluent, mêlant sara, arabe (l'autre langue officielle du Tchad), français et anglais dans leurs chansons - à tout hasard, signalons que Charles et Service parlent aussi mandarin et qui sait si on n'entendra pas un jour H'Sao en Chine ?

Pourquoi avoir baptisé l'album Vol 235? Parce que 235 est l'indicatif téléphonique du Tchad : «C'est une espèce de voyage à travers tout ce qu'on a vécu qu'on propose aux gens», explique Izra-L. Entre autres choses, le groupe a rencontré Boule noire lors de l'hommage que lui a rendu Belle et Bum avant le décès de ce dernier. C'est là, en présence du regretté chanteur, qu'ils avaient interprété, avec Luck Mervil, Aimer d'amour, chanson qu'ils reprennent a cappella sur Vol 235. « Boule noire nous a bénis ce jour-là, explique Izra-L, et sa veuve nous a donné son accord pour qu'on l'enregistre.»

C'est plutôt lors d'un grand spectacle avec l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, en 2006, que H'Sao rencontre le chef d'orchestre et compositeur Guy Saint-Onge, bien connu pour son travail avec Gregory Charles, Ima et Félix Gray (c'est lui qui signe les musiques de Don Juan et Shérazade). « Il nous a vraiment aidés à finaliser l'album, explique Caleb. Il devait simplement le mixer et puis, finalement, il a joué des instruments et il nous a aidés pour la réalisation. On avait commencé à écrire le nouvel album à la fin de 2006, mais on a tellement fait de tournées (Australie, Roumanie, États-Unis, Afrique du Sud, Québec...) qu'on n'avait jamais le temps de s'y mettre. Guy, ainsi que notre ancien gérant Marc Labelle, nous ont beaucoup aidés à finalement faire le disque qu'on voulait.»

Album où il est question d'amour, de foi et de paix, lancé il y a quelques jours en présence de... leur père (qui est pasteur protestant), leur mère et autres frères et soeurs. Car, depuis trois semaines, toute la famille Rimtobaye vit désormais au Québec. « Je donne des cours de sara, explique Caleb, et quand papa a entendu des Québécois s'exprimer dans notre langue pendant le lancement, ça lui a tiré quelques larmes. Qui sait, ça pourrait peut-être devenir la troisième langue officielle du Québec ?»

EN UN MOT

Remarqué d'abord pour la beauté de ses chants a cappella, le sextuor d'origine tchadienne H'Sao vit au Québec depuis 2001 et a lancé son second disque il y a quelques jours. - Marie-Christine Blais- LA PRESSE -12/09/2009


"World Music Wednesday- H'Sao: One language, two homes / CANADA"

Last week, I travelled to Ottawa for a few days to experience Canada Day in the capital city for the first time. As part of the festivities, there was an afternoon concert on Parliament Hill, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Queen Elizabeth II addressed the crowds. The concert showcased many Canadian acts, finishing off with the Barenaked Ladies, but one group particularly stuck in my mind.
They are called H’sao, and are a Quebecois music group whose members originally hail from Chad. Their music blends the traditional sound of their home country with soul and R&B, resulting in a unique and exceptional sound. The original four members – siblings Israel, Caleb, Taroum, and Mossbass Rimtobaye – performed first in their father’s church, and started playing outside the church in 1994. They were called hirondelle, meaning swallow in French, by their father. A year later, the band was expanded with the addition of Charles and Service Ledjebgue. They began calling themselves H’Sao – the H is for hirondelle, while the Saois a tribute to their ancestry. They relocated to Montreal, Canada, from where they have been captivating audiences with their harmonies ever since.
The sound of the band is very dynamic, and can lend itself to completely different moods. They can be light and playful, like in the song Baby .
They also have a more serious side, which is best expressed through a cappella, a style that H’Sao mastered long ago – they didn’t introduce instruments into their lineup until 2000.
- Ride the tempo


"H’Sao Reaches higher ground with masterfully blended Afro-pop, a capella sound / U.S.A"

By JENNIFER LIEBRUM
Express Staff Writer

The H’Sao band began with the Rimtobaye brothers and their sister who started out singing in their father’s church in their native Chad. Courtesy photo Laeticia Jourdan

It all started in a little church in Chad where the Rimtobaye children sang their hearts out with their pastor father's blessing.

The four brothers and a sister made their first out-of-church performance in 1994 when they took part in the "Fête de la Musique'' at the Centre Cultural Francais in Chad's capital city, N'Djamena. The more people who heard them sing, the more shows were lined up. Within a year, with the addition of the Ledjebgue brothers, they became the band H'Sao. Hirondelle, or swallow, the nickname their father gave them merged with Sao, which was a nod to their Chadian ancestors.

Soon after, they recorded their first demo. Before long they were able to buy instruments with the earnings. Until then, they had been creating and performing beautiful music with only their voices. This lack of means had allowed H'Sao to develop an original and unique style, as well as an impressive repertoire of a capella songs.

In March 2001, H'Sao's path took another nice new twist when they were selected out of 18 other bands to represent Chad at the "Jeux de la Francophonie,'' to be held in Ottawa that year. In July, H'Sao won a bronze medal at this large-scale event that gathers the world's best francophone athletes and artists. And things have just gotten better every year since.

H'Sao, now based in Canada, has filled concert halls in Sweden, Ireland, the U.S., Colombia, South Africa and Australia with vibrant African rhythms and joyful messages.

Drawing from gospel and traditional African music, as well as their Chadian roots, H'Sao displays clear soul, pop, and R&B influences. All the members of this Montréal Afro-pop group are singer-songwriters; elements of their various influences are smoothly blended with African rhythms to create fresh songs in a unique style.

But it is their masterful a capella singing that sets them apart on the vast soundscape of world music.

Here's a primer on the band members from their website, hsao.ca.:

Caleb Rimtobaye, guitarist and co-songwriter. It's at his place that the magic happens. Rehearsals are held at his home studio and he always sets the pace. A passionate man with a head full of ideas, Caleb is meticulous and is always looking for fresh new sounds. He is currently working on a project called "AfrotoniX." Details are at afrotonix.com.

Taroum Rimtobaye, dancer and singer. Her enchanting voice and unique moves convey the feel and energy of H'Sao's songs. Her sunny disposition gives a welcome feminine touch to the H'Sao vibe.

Mossbass Rimtobaye, bassist, co-songwriter, and singer. With his charmingly discreet demeanor, he embodies the H'Sao groove. On stage, he and his bass are a rhythmic force to be reckoned with.

Service Ledjebgue, percussionist, co-songwriter and singer. His talent, energy, humanity and joie de vivre bring a brotherly vibe to H'Sao. Crazy about singing and rhythms, he embodies the band's sense of unity.

Izra L., pianist, co-songwriter, dancer and singer. He's the youngest in the group. His voice will touch your heart and his dance moves always get the crowd on its feet. Izra L. is obsessed with the beats; his rhythm and talent always guarantee a one-of-a-kind show. Check out the Izra L. project at myspace.com/izra10.

Dono, drummer, co-songwriter and singer. He is blessed with unwavering motivation and H'Sao pride as he oozes rhythm from behind his kit. Both his determination and sensitivity are felt in every drum stroke.

You've heard their legend, you know their names. Now go get your tickets to hear them perform live at the Sun Valley Opera House, Saturday, Jan. 21. - Idaho Mountain Express


"Review: H'SAO/ NEW ZELAND"

H'SAO
St Paul's Cathedral
Saturday, October 13

H'SAO is a well-known and popular musical group from Chad which has toured extensively and made it big-time in Canada's music scene, particularly Montreal where it is now based.

H'SAO presented a two-hour recital in St Paul's Cathedral on Saturday afternoon, which was full of the joys of making loud music and singing. The five-member group showed incredible energy and versatility on synth, guitars, drums and various shakers.

Their music combines the rhythms of traditional Central African regions with Western styles of jazz, gospel and R&B, and is unmistakably ethnic through and through, whether with text in their mother tongue dialect, French, Arabic or English. Continual body movement matched the mood and rhythm of the music, which was mostly in the form of building to a colourful climax through variation of call and response between themselves, and at times with the audience.

I would have appreciated a programme sheet with titles, as spoken introductions were inaudible for many in the packed cathedral, and the songs were often similar in sound and style, though I am sure the text would have been varied. Some of the excellent solo passage highlights obviously expressed very deep sentiments on a certain topic or event. But I did manage to catch the title of La vie est belle, and so understood why midway, one vocalist suddenly burst into an extremely high jumping and gyrating dance routine. (Chad's version of Michael Jackson!)Reverb levels in the mix were much too strong for the natural acoustics in the vast openness of the cathedral - at least from my mid-centre pew.

The members of the H'SAO group have such a passion for their music and their country, plus a real skill for working their fans and a crowd. I would love to have heard them in another venue - our stadium perhaps?

- Elizabeth Bouman - OTAGO DAILY TIMES 13.10.2012


"Flamboyant and soulful journey / NEW ZELAND"

REVIEW: H'SAO Founders Park, Nelson. Last night.

I have to say this gig wasn't quite what I expected - an a cappella performance from an African group from Chad now based in Canada, although several a cappella numbers did book-end each of the two sets.

These were harmonic works of amazing art, the acrobatic voices of the five young men from two Chadian families providing intricate, astonishing orchestration all by themselves.

I hadn't expected so much of the programme would involve the group performing band music - even if it was mostly high-energy and highly disciplined, enhanced by a unique African twist, with two on guitar, two drumming and frenetic Israel on keyboards.

Much of their Afro-pop sound reverberated in a strong, driving reggae beat, shades of Bob Marley. At times it was hard to tell where one song ended and the next began. They sang in French, Arabic and African, with some English thrown in - sometimes several languages within one number.

Much of the time this felt like a dance party, no bad thing, the floor pumping with bodies and strobe lights. But come interval I remained unengaged. Then the second set kicked off with two gently exquisite a cappella soul numbers, the fine fingering of acoustic guitarist Caleb tugged the heart and I was bewitched.

There's no categorising this hugely versatile, volatile group. They're a meld of so much, like the history of music from its roots in one composition.

Always the rhythm was there, the movement - some pretty sexy moves! They were passionate, flamboyant, funny and soulful.

While the slower paced, quieter harmonies hooked me most, I ended up cheering with the rest.

Somehow the word "song" doesn't do justice to what H'Sao brings to its party. God bless Chad!

JUDITH PAVIELL - NELSON MAIL / NEW ZELAND 19.10.2012


"H'Sao reaches higher ground with masterfully blended Afro-pop, a capella sound"

It all started in a little church in Chad where the Rimtobaye children sang their hearts out with their pastor father's blessing. The four brothers and a sister made their firstout-of-church performance in 1994 when they took part in the "Fête de la Musique'' at the Centre Cultural Francais in Chad's capital city, N'Djamena. The more people who heard them sing, the more shows were lined up. Within a year, with the addition of the Ledjebgue brothers, they became the band H'Sao. Hirondelle, or swallow, the nickname their father gave them merged with Sao, which was a nod to their Chadian ancestors.
Soon after, they recorded their first demo. Before long they were able to buy instruments with the earnings. Until then, they had been creating and performing beautiful music with only their voices. This lack of means had allowed H'Sao to develop an original and unique style, as well as an impressive repertoire of a capella songs.

In March 2001, H'Sao's path took another nice new twist when they were selected out of 18 other bands to represent Chad at the "Jeux de la Francophonie,'' to be held in Ottawa that year. In July, H'Sao won a bronze medal at this large-scale event that gathers the world's best francophone athletes and artists. And things have just gotten better every year since.

H'Sao, now based in Canada, has filled concert halls in Sweden, Ireland, the U.S., Colombia, South Africa and Australia with vibrant African rhythms and joyful messages.

Drawing from gospel and traditional African music, as well as their Chadian roots, H'Sao displays clear soul, pop, and R&B influences. All the members of this Montréal Afro-pop group are singer-songwriters; elements of their various influences are smoothly blended with African rhythms to create fresh songs in a unique style.

But it is their masterful a capella singing that sets them apart on the vast soundscape of world music.

Here's a primer on the band members from their website, hsao.ca.:

Caleb Rimtobaye, guitarist and co-songwriter. It's at his place that the magic happens. Rehearsals are held at his home studio and he always sets the pace. A passionate man with a head full of ideas, Caleb is meticulous and is always looking for fresh new sounds. He is currently working on a project called "AfrotoniX." Details are at afrotonix.com.

Taroum Rimtobaye, dancer and singer. Her enchanting voice and unique moves convey the feel and energy of H'Sao's songs. Her sunny disposition gives a welcome feminine touch to the H'Sao vibe.

Mossbass Rimtobaye, bassist, co-songwriter, and singer. With his charmingly discreet demeanor, he embodies the H'Sao groove. On stage, he and his bass are a rhythmic force to be reckoned with.

Service Ledjebgue, percussionist, co-songwriter and singer. His talent, energy, humanity and joie de vivre bring a brotherly vibe to H'Sao. Crazy about singing and rhythms, he embodies the band's sense of unity.

Izra L., pianist, co-songwriter, dancer and singer. He's the youngest in the group. His voice will touch your heart and his dance moves always get the crowd on its feet. Izra L. is obsessed with the beats; his rhythm and talent always guarantee a one-of-a-kind show. Check out the Izra L. project at myspace.com/izra10.

Dono, drummer, co-songwriter and singer. He is blessed with unwavering motivation and H'Sao pride as he oozes rhythm from behind his kit. Both his determination and sensitivity are felt in every drum stroke.

You've heard their legend, you know their names. Now go get your tickets to hear them perform live at the Sun Valley Opera House, Saturday, Jan. 21. - Idaho mountain Express


"Music is a family affair for Montreal's H'Sao"


When the six young musicians of H'Sao became Canadian immigrants two years ago, they had to contend with more than social and cultural upheavals. The move from Chad--one of the hottest and most impoverished countries in north-central Africa--to Quebec at the tail end of winter entailed a traumatic change of climate. "It was a great shock," recalls guitarist Caleb Rimtobaye, speaking in French from his Montreal apartment. "When we left home it was 45 to 50 degrees in the shade. But we were surrounded here by human warmth. People provided lots of tips on how to deal with the cold, and gave us the right clothing."

Caleb's colleagues in H'Sao include his two younger brothers, bassist Mossbasss and keyboard-player Isra-l, and his younger sister Taroum, the group's dancer. All are superbly agile singers who learned their skills from their father, an evangelical pastor in Ndjamena, the capital of Chad. The siblings performed hymns together from an early age, but eventually they felt the urge to branch out into secular music. In 1995 they recruited brothers Charles and Service Ledjebgue, who sing and play percussion, and started composing and arranging new material with a contemporary sound.

The elaborate vocal harmonies that are H'Sao's hallmark reflect the sextet's humble origins. At first only Caleb could afford an instrument, and his guitar frequently lacked strings. "When we got together to make music, often all we had was our voices, and objects that we tapped for percussion," he remembers. "So we worked with these resources. It's only really when we started touring overseas--first to Europe and then to Canada--that each of us acquired an instrument to play."

On the evidence of its self-titled debut, released last year, H'Sao is a remarkably eclectic band. Although a couple of short songs, "Kouman" and "Baba", are delivered a cappella, and "Interlude" is dreamily folksy, most of the material on the album is electric, funky, and rich in polyrhythms. On "Ndjamena", a bittersweet song about their home city, strong roots influences mingle with soulful pop and elements of rap. "Some of our melodies are taken from traditional sources, but the songs are almost all our own," says Caleb, the group's main writer.

H'Sao has two tours of Europe lined up for the spring and summer, with a trip to South Africa in the fall. When the band makes its first B.C. appearance at the Festival du Bois, in Maillardville's Blue Mountain Park, this Sunday afternoon (March 7), the musicians will generate heat with a sub-Saharan beat.

"The rhythms we use are basically Chadian--sai, n'dala, nganga, and others--but we try fusing them with jazz, R & B, and gospel," Caleb says. "Because we're aiming at an international market we don't want to limit ourselves to any particular style, but at the same time we want to stay true to who we are--and where we come from. The profession of musician is not well regarded in Chad, and there are no real stars. We're just about the first musicians to leave the country and make an international career. One of our greatest challenges is to give back hope to young Chadians whose lives are undermined by outbreaks of war and continual hardships." - By Tony Montague | Straight.com


Discography

1-JULY 10  2015 ALBUM "SAAR" 

2- FEBURARY 19 2013 ALBUM '' ORIA '' Nominated Best Album 2013

3- SEPTEMBER 2009 ALBUM "VOL 235" Nominated best album 2010

4- JUNE 2003 H'SAO - H'SAO
H’Sao’s first album is launched during the Montreal International Jazz Festival

Photos

Bio

HSao embodies a blend of cultures and influences. Their father dubs them Hirondelle (swallow) in honour of the birds that are always searching for higher ground.HSao makes use of their vocal skills to compose music and develop arrangements to be later transposed for varied instrumentation. Drawing from gospel, traditional African music, as well as their Chadian roots, Hsao display clear soul, pop, and R&B influences. All the members of this Montral afro-pop group are singersongwriters; elements of their various influences are smoothly blended with African rhythms to create fresh songs in a unique style. Masterful a capella singing sets them apart on the vast soundscape of world music.

Band Members