Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe: the popular “Akiyo” closed the festivities with a bang

This Sunday, November 25 was the last day of cultural festivities (including 25 concerts) organized as part of the 11th edition and the 40th anniversary of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, this legendary boat race between the cities of Saint-Malo (France) and Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe). The organizers decided to invite for this finale a very popular Guadeloupean group from a cultural association that also celebrates, in 2018, its 40 years of existence: “Akiyo”.

It must be said that perhaps because the carnival section of “Akiyo” begins its parades in the streets often late at night, many spectators did not come to the MACTe several hours in advance to attend the concert, as they did when other groups performed on this stage, the days before.

However, at the appointed time – the concert of the famous band being scheduled between 8:30 pm and 10:00 pm on the stage at the Memorial ACTe – there was a huge crowd. This audience was made up of several thousand people (adults, young people and children of both sexes) who came to see or see again this show that “Akiyo” prepared for its 40th anniversary and already presented in Guadeloupe but also in Martinique, in France and Benin.

Among the twenty members on stage, there were a dozen percussionists, a bassist, a guitarist, three chorus girls etc. Although three other members sang a song, the two main singers were Fanswa Ladrézeau and Jean-Pierre Coquerel; they took turns at the microphone to perform songs sometimes older than 25 years like “Krak-la”, “Ki moun ki responsab”, “Pyèj”, “Joé” etc. The many members of the public sang and danced to the rhythms of this traditional music performed on stage with modern notes. During the carnival season that begins in Guadeloupe the first Sunday of January until Ash Wednesday, they will find in the streets the purely traditional music by the phenomenon “Akiyo”.