Cosmas Magaya Podcast 229

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Cosmas Magaya

This was one of my favorite early episodes.  Cosmas Magya is a master of the Mbira ( a type of thumb piano) from the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe.  Here he performs and explains the way the instrument is used in ceremonies to contact ancestors.  We’ll also hear a track he recorded with another powerful Mbira player and vocalist Beauler Dyoko. (Rebroadcast from 2011)

Vieux Farka Toure Returns: Podcast 228

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We’re psyched to see that one of one of our favorite groups in NYC Innov Gnawa is combining forces with the great Vieux Farka Tourre this Thursday at BRIC.

Last September, we got sit down and hang with Vieux Farka Toure, talk to him and record a little acoustic music…AND record his entire live set at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan with his moking band!  Many thanks to World Music Institute and Le Poisson Rouge for making that happen.

Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006. Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers, and defied his parents in becoming a musician. When Vieux was in his teens, he declared that he also wanted to be a musician. His father dissaproved due to the pressures he had experienced being a musician. Rather, he wanted Vieux to become a soldier. But with help from family friend the kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing to become a musician shortly before Ali passed.

Vieux was initially a drummer / calabash player at Mali’s Institut National des Arts, but secretly began playing guitar in 2001. Ali Farka Touré was weakened with cancer when Vieux announced that he was going to record an album. Ali recorded a couple of tracks with him, and these recordings, which can be heard on Vieux’s debut CD, were amongst his final ones. It has been said that the senior Touré played rough mixes of these songs when people visited him in his final days, at peace with, and proud of, his son’s talent as a musician. He know tours internationally with many acclaimed records to his name.

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo Podcast 220

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We get to hang with Albert Mazibuko an member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo for over 30 years.  Albert talks about his memories of times with Nelson Mandela, and how this angel music was both born in the mines and the land of dreams. The group plays B.B. Kings March 8th.

Albert far right with Nelson Mandela

New Video from Kensuke Shoji!

We’ve been tracking the explorations and evolution of one of NYC great violin players, Ken Shoji, for quite some time and broadcasting his searching improvisations on WKCR 89.9 FM frequently.   Check him out on Podcasts 128, 129, 144, 173.  Now we discover this video of the virtuosic jazz violinist leading his band with Fima Chupakhin on Rhodes and Dan Kurfirst on hand percussion.