Saturday, February 07, 2009

Blues Break x 2: Toumani Diabate - 'Cantalowes' and Bassekou Kouyate with Ngoni Ba

Toumani Diabate in a solo kora performance described as follows:
This performance of 'Cantelowes' is from the recent live World Premiere of "The Mandé Variations" at the prestigious El Real Alcazar de Sevilla in Spain which left the audience spellbound and was described by the The Independent as "a performance that surpasses anything....for sheer scale of ambition and technical achievement."
This is my favorite piece on Mandé Variations, Diabate's most recent album.

Toumani Diabate will perform in Portland on May 1, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.

[For more online performances by Diabate,
visit here and here (includes an interview).]

As further proof, if it were necessary, that Mali is producing some of the world's finest musicians, we offer a second piece for this week's Blues Break. I was planning to save this amazing performance by Bassekou Kouyate on the ngoni (West African lute) for a future installment, but I can't resist embedding it now. He is accompanied by Amy Sacko, his spouse, and Ngoni ba, his new band (Rostock, Germany - June, 2007).

Kouyate and Diabate have been frequent collaborators throughout their careers. Many ethnomusicologists are convinced that the origins of the blues can be traced back to Segu, the region where Kouyate was born. The blues as you may not have heard it before...

No comments: