Living since 1998 in Montréal, where he discovered an abundance of cultural riches, Ivorian multi-instrumentalist Gotta Lago received the 2016 Prix de la diversité culturelle, an award recognizing years of effort to bring Africa and America closer through the magic of music. Since 2004, he has headed the Gotta Lago Project and, with his group, brings the warmth of Africa to North America by melding traditional African music with the blues and modern world music currents.
Along with his emblematic scarf exhibiting pan-African motifs, he wears several caps : guitarist, pianist, percussionist, vocalist and narrator. He uses all these talents to make his culture known to his listeners, as, for example, during his African Guitar Spirit show where he tells the story of the guitar in African music. The show even includes a version, rapped in Wolof, of the song Moi, mes souliers by Québec chansonnier Félix Leclerc.
In 2011, he became involved in the Arométis collective and took part in the composition of 13 tracks with a group of 17 musicians from varied backgrounds. The project, fostered by the organization Vision Diversité, makes new talents known by disseminating a collective album featuring blended musical styles.
Gotta Lago also took part in the New World Symphony project inspired by the famous work by Antonin Dvo?ák, revisited by musical director Luc Boivin on the occasion of the Sommet de la Francophonie to represent Québec’s cultural mosaic.
Heavily involved in teaching, Gotta Lago directs percussion workshops in schools and teaches African song. In addition to his musical activities, he leads storytelling events and collaborates with painters, actors and dancers, notably as a choreographer for contemporary dance shows.
In 2009, he took part in the “Carnets de route Montréal-Soweto-Marrakech” musical project, bringing together more than eight artists of diverse origins. Following this extraordinary experience, Gotta Lago brought out his solo album Carnets de route Soweto-Marrakech in 2014, a musical journey starting in South Africa and ending on the Moroccan shores. He continued his exploration of the African continent in January 2019 during a tour in Mauritania and is currently working on his second album. Regardless of the destination, travel is always a source of fascination with Gotta Lago!