Founded by Trinidadian/Canadian songwriter, Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town is named after the historic neighborhood in Port-of-Spain where calypso was born. The sudden move to the cold city of Ottawa when he was 13, Drew found that he didn’t fit in. “My curiosity about Trinidad led me to read a lot about the Caribbean and its history, the kind of legacy it bestowed upon us.”
Gonsalves remembers his first visit to Trinidad at eighteen. “I was blown away by the cleverness and the wit of these calypsonians, and also their engaging interplay with the audience. I had never experienced anything like it and, from that point on, calypso was always on my mind.”
Kobo Town’s debut album in 2007, Independence, was nominated for an Indie award, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and an International Folk Alliance award, receiving very positive reviews from the international music press as well.
“I’m not sure I should call it calypso,” he says. “It is calypso inspired and derived, but it’s a conscious departure from the way it developed back home. Calypso is the folk music of urban Trinidad, but it has always drawn on outside influences. For me, the calypsonian is a singing newspaperman commenting on the events of the day, with an attitude halfway between court jester and griot [oral historian].”
Kobo Town’s second offering, Jumbie in the Jukebox, was recorded in Belize, Montreal, Toronto and Trinidad. “I wanted this album to be a contemporary expression that said something about Caribbean music, our heritage, and the potential for a new voice that resonates with people today,” Gonsalves declares. “This album is a small, heartfelt tribute to the spirits – both remembered and forgotten – who have gone before us, whose songs and sounds have never lost their power to enchant.”
Gabriel Palatchi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He started piano lessons at the age of eight, and went on to study classical music, and musical production. He expanded his studies with a degree in music from the Berklee International School. During this time he studied under many great maestros of Blues, Tango, Jazz and Latin Jazz.
After graduating in 2008, he packed up his piano and journeyed to Cuba and Mexico to expand his studies and musical experiences.
Gabriel’s first solo CD, “Diario de Viaje” (Travel Diary), was released in 2010. With deep roots in Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz, he fused together an original sound and style of music that includes Tango, Arabian, Salsa, Funk, and Electronic. The album was chosen as one of the best Latin Jazz albums of the year by JAZZ FM 91.1 in Toronto
The Gabriel Palatchi Band has since toured throughout various parts of Argentina, Mexico and Canada, performing at many international music festivals. These include the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Victoria International Jazz Festival, Quebec International Jazz Festival, Waterloo International Jazz Festival, Victoria Tango Festival, Kaslo Jazz Festival, Starbelly Jam Music Festival, and the Puerto Morelos Music Festival, among others. The band created a buzz everywhere it played.
Their second CD, ‘Caja Musical’, was released in May 2013. Recorded in Buenos Aires with great Argentinian guest musicians, it does not disappoint the fans he has garnered all over the world.