Kobo TownJumbie in the Jukebox
Category:World Music Album of the Year
Kobo Town has emerged in recent years as one of the most original artistic voices of the Caribbean diaspora. Founded by emigre Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, whose songs draw heavily from the lyrical inventiveness of early calypso, their music has been described as “a unique, transnational composite of rhythm, poetry and activist journalism.”(Exclaim!). From their home base in Toronto, Kobo Town has brought this distinct calypso and dub inspired sound to festivals, clubs and theatres across North America, Europe and the Caribbean. While Gonsalves’ songs convey a deep interest in Caribbean folk music, the band delivers them with an energy and intensity more akin to indie rock, earning them a considerable audience beyond the niche of world music enthusiasts and calypso fans. Independence, Kobo Town’s acclaimed debut album was released in 2007, and nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award and an Indie award. Their 2013 sophomore release, Jumbie in the Jukebox was recorded between Trinidad, Belize and Canada. The Polaris long listed album has been described as a “pithy combination of social commentary, dubwise soca and calypsonian wit”(VillageVoice).