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La Chiva Gantiva in Session, Commonwealth Connections 14

Lopa Kothari presents a session with La Chiva Gantiva and the 14th part of Commonwealth Connections, which features music from Malta and the Gambia.

Lopa Kothari presents a session with La Chiva Gantiva and Commonwealth Connections from Malta and The Gambia.


Malta's history reads like a Dan Brown novel and the music that has been recorded for this week's feature is infused with Malta's wonderfully diverse historical influences. Musician and composer, Ruben Zahra, takes us on a guided tour of traditional Maltese instruments that span the centuries: from the iz-Zummara, a Maltese reed flute fashioned by children as a toy, to the impressive Maltese bagpipe or iz-Zaqq. Ruben's passion for these instruments, the music and the skills needed to play is helping to prevent their extinction, as happened with the Maltese Lira. This is the world's first studio recording of the Maltese Lira which was lost some 200 years ago but recreated using lithographs and paintings.
The tradition of working-class folk song is also being kept alive by the Maltese people in the wine bars of Zejtun. The 'Spirtu Pront' genre of folk song requires singers to verbally duel with improvised lyrics and it has been recorded live in the Ta' Ganna bar with six singers competing for their pride and superiority. They are accompanied by local musicians playing the unusual, horned, Maltese guitar.


The Gambia is a relatively small slice of land in West Africa on the north and south shores of the river Gambia, and surrounded by Senegal. This week's Commonwealth athlete Suwaibou Sanneh currently lives away from his home town of Brikama studying in the States but he carries the country's music with him as he prepares for the 100 metres sprint, an event for which he holds the Gambian national record. A semi-finalist at the London Olympics, he aims to do even better at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Music from Jaliba Kuyateh and The Kumareh Band

La Chiva Gantiva are a group of young Colombian musicians who met in Brussels. Fuelled with a desire to get back to their roots, they started to combine Colombian rhythms with rock, afrobeat and funk. Their new album 'Vivo' is out now on Crammed Discs. We catch them as they are about to embark on their UK tour.

2 hours

Music Played

  • Dem Ensemble

    Hantuman Zeybegi

    Performer: Dem Ensemble.
    • Erguvan.
    • Felmay.
    • 1.
  • Para Arriba (feat. La Chiva Gantiva)

  • Rodrigo y Gabriela


    Performer: Rodrigo y Gabriela.
    • 9 Dead Alive.
    • Rustworks.
    • 5.
  • Noumoucounda Cissoko

    Noumou Koradioulou

    Performer: Noumoucounda Cissoko.
    • Rough Guide to the Best African Music.
    • World Music Network.
    • 3.
  • Uganda field recording

    Alur horns (Recorded by David Fanshawe)

    Performer: Uganda field recording.
    • African Gems.
    • Sharp Wood.
    • 7.
  • Toumani and Sidiki Diabate

    Rachid Ouiguini

    Performer: Toumani and Sidiki Diabate.
    • Toumani and Sidiki.
    • World Circuit.
    • 3.
  • Jaliba Kuyateh and The Kumareh Band

    Ousman Sawaneh

    Performer: Jaliba Kuyateh and The Kumareh Band.
    • Tupi-Ke-Jang.
    • TWS.
  • Martin and Eliza Carthy

    Queen Caraboo

    Performer: Martin and Eliza Carthy.
    • The Moral of the Elephant.
    • Topic.
    • 4.
  • The Askew Sisters

    Room for the Cuckold / Beaux of London City

    Performer: The Askew Sisters.
    • In the Air or Earth.
    • Root Beat Records.
    • 3.
  • La Chiva Gantiva


    Performer: La Chiva Gantiva.
  • La Chiva Gantiva


    Performer: La Chiva Gantiva.
  • Gipsy Burek Orkestar

    Mali Poni

    Performer: Gipsy Burek Orkestar.
    • Gipsy Burek Orkestar.
    • Innat.
    • 1.
  • Monsieur Doumani

    Out of touch guy

    Performer: Monsieur Doumani.
    • Grippy Grappa.
    • Monsieur Doumani.
    • 4.
  • Various patrons

    Ta' Gana Bar improvised session

    Performer: Various patrons.
  • Ruben Zahra


    Performer: Ruben Zahra.
  • Rubin Zahra


    Performer: Rubin Zahra.
  • Ruben Zahra


    Performer: Ruben Zahra.
  • Rubin Zahra


    Performer: Rubin Zahra.
  • Chalachew Ashnafi


    Performer: Chalachew Ashnafi.
    • Fano - The Legendary Gonder Azmari (1966 – 2012).
    • Terp Records.
    • 1.
  • Sam Lee and Friends

    Phoenix Island

    Performer: Sam Lee and Friends.
    • More for to rise.
    • 1.
  • Martin Green

    Lyke Wake Dirge

    Performer: Martin Green.
    • Crows' Bones.
    • Reveal Records.
    • 2.
  • Mamane Barka


    • Introducing Mamane Barka.
    • Riverboat Records.
  • El Valor Tiene Mareo (feat. La Chiva Gantiva)


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