FARMINGTON — The blended sounds of gospel, soul and traditional African music will come to San Juan College on Saturday.

The Montréal, Canada based Afro-Pop group H'Sao will kick off the 2013 portion of the college's Silhouette Performing Arts Series.

"They have a very strong background in a capella and gospel singing," said Linann Easley, Henderson Fire Arts Center Director. "They come from a very approachable background, and they really understand each other's nuances."

Part of H'Sao's appeal could come from its origins as a group of brothers and sisters, she said.

They first sang together outside a church before recording their first demo and purchasing instruments, according to their website.

Now the group is made up of five male members who have toured across the world blending gospel, traditional African and Chadian music, soul, pop and R & B.

This broad palate of influences piqued Easley's interest, but attracting the group to the area proved to be difficult.

H'Sao was booked at venues throughout the state through the New Mexico Presenters' Alliance, of which San Juan College is a member, Easley said.

The block booking process gives the college and other smaller venues a chance to bring in artists and acts that would normally bypass New Mexico entirely in favor of Denver or Houston, she said.

H'Sao will also take part in community outreach while in Farmington, Easley said.


"They'll go up to (Piedra Vista High School) and talk to the French classes," she said. "Farmington High School Students are also invited."

The group has released two albums - H'Sao in 2003 and Vol. 235 in 2009 - and has started recording its new album ORIA, expected to be released in February 2013, according to their website,

H'Sao members were traveling and unavailable for comment on Monday.

Saturday's concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Henderson Fine Arts Performance Hall. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and $12 for ages 12 and under.

For more information, call the San Juan College Box office at 505-566-3430.