Kora Master, Foday Musa Suso, Performs Live! – Podcast 115

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I feel like this recording is as good anything I’ve produced for radio.

This podcast is a live performance from Kora legend Foday Musa Suso.   Suso is most known in the West from his collaborations with Phillip Glass, Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Pharaoh Sanders, Jack DeJohnette and countless others.

 Foday Musa Suso is an internationally recognized musician and a Mandingo griot from the West African nation of Gambia. Griots are the oral historians and musicians of the Mandingo people, who live in several West African nations. Griots are a living library for the community, providing history, entertainment, and wisdom while playing and singing their songs. The history of empires and kingdoms, tribal conflicts, cultural heroes, and family lineage are all part of a griot’s traditional repertoire. It is an extensive verbal and musical heritage that can only be passed down within a griot family.

Foday is a direct descendent of Jali Madi Wlen Suso, the griot who invented the kora over four centuries ago. Foday spent his childhood in a traditional Gambian village, in a household filled with kora music. He began to play his father’s kora even before he could hold the instrument on his own. Though his father was a master kora player, in griot tradition a father does not teach his own children the instrument. So from age 9-18, Foday studied music and history under master kora player Sekou Suso in the village of Pasamasi, Wuli District.–

After many years of rigorous study, in 1974 Foday spent 3 years teaching the kora at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Legon, Ghana. In 1977, he moved to Chicago and became the first kora player to establish himself in the United States. He formed The Mandingo Griot Society with 3 American musicians, playing a fusion of traditional and jazz that is now known as “world music”. Since 1977, he has performed as a soloist and with other musicians throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America. Interested in both traditional and cutting-edge music, he has also written many original compositions, toured and recorded with many prominent musicians. In addition to his virtuosic kora playing and singing, Foday Musa Suso is very skilled in playing traditional West African drums, as well as many other instruments.

Kane Mathis (Kora) and Brandon Terzic (Oud and Ngoni) Live! – Podcast 111

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Kane Mathis and Brandon Terzic performed live sets of incredible beauty of the NYC radio airwaves.  First Kane Mathis played solo  (on the 21-string Mandinka Harp) and then he was joined by Brandon on the Oud and later the Ngoni.

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Kane began taking trips to The Gambia, West Africa in 1997 and has continued rigorous study of the Mandinka Kora. Over the past ten years his performances have earned him recognition by the Gambian president, The Gambian minister of culture, and both national television and radio of The Gambia.

Kane’s primary kora teachers are Malamini Jobarteh of Brikama, The Gambia and Moriba Kouyate of The Gambia. The Jobarteh family remain one of The Gambia’s most important musical legacies. Tata Din din Jobarteh, Pa Bobo Jobarteh, and Siffai Jobarteh are the families current most visible exponents touring the world.

Brandon Terzic has performed in the states and Internationally, traveled to Morocco, Senegal and Egypt studying music, and playing with many incredible Musicians, amongst them Tomchess, Matt Kilmer, Matt Darriau, Rufus Cappodocia, Shane Shanahan, Luke Notary, Hassan Houkmoun, Peter Slavov, John Shannon, Gilad Dobrecky, Mal Stein, George Stathos, Sylvain Leroix, Tom Rossi, Max ZT and many many more. He currently teaches and performs in his band Xalam Project amongst other projects.

Both Kane and Brandon also perform on the Oud. 

 

 

 

 

Africa Meets India: Ragas Live Festival 2014 – Podcast 104

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Africa Meets India during this performance on the Ragas Live Festival

Africa Meets India: Kevin Nathaniel (Mbira) Eric Fraser (Bansuri)
Naren Budhkar (tabla)  Salieu Suso (kora) Giancarlo Luiggi (Hosho) and Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury (Sitar) performed from 7-8 pm for the 24 hour, Ragas Live Festival 2014.

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Abdoulaye Alhassane plays the music of the Sahara Desert live – Podcast 49

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Abdoulaye Alhassane performs live with Deep Sahara at WKCR in 2010.  w/ Yacouba Diabate (Kora) Frederika Krier (Violin) and David Ellenbogen (guitar)

By Banning Eyre | April, 2007 [guitar player mg]
Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure has brought string-picking wizardry from the desert towns of West Africa to the nightclubs of New York City. Born in 1963, in Niamey, Niger, to a Sonrai family from Gao, Mali, he passed his youth in a multi-ethnic neighborhood surrounded by Peul, Bambara, Sonrai, and other peoples, and as he put it, “They all played music.” Local radio filled his ears with the sinuous, bluesy strains of desert folklore and the melodious bombast of Mande griots. When his parents returned to Mali, Toure recalled, “They came back with cassettes by Ibrahim Hamma Dicko, Fissa Maiga, and Ali Farka Toure, who sang in a language we understood, and I was incredibly inspired by the originality of this music.” Toure’s musical gift became obvious when he started hanging out in the Niamey nightclub where his uncle, Johnny Ali Maiga, led a band.
“Johnny Ali Maiga played folklore, like Ali Farka Toure,” said Toure, “But he also loved rock. His group was on the radio in Niamey, and it sounded like the Malian music I was listening to at home, but sung in Zerma, the national language of Niger.”
By the early ’80s, Toure was playing guitar and flute, and his first band incorporated electric guitar, bass, drums, and brass, and merged regional folk styles with international pop. When the group took first prize in a national competition, Toure became a full-time musician. By the late ’80s, he was leading Super Kassey—the first Niamey band to travel abroad and record in a modern studio.
Before long, Toure was working as a guitar instructor at the European-run Center for the Education and Promotion of Music. In 1992, Toure teamed up with singer/flutist Yacouba Moumouni to create Niger’s most successful roots pop band to date, Mamar Kassey. Mamar Kassey’s two electrifying CDs, Denke Denke (1999) and Alatoumi (2000) showcase Toure’s guitar mastery and formidable arranging skills. The music is rooted in tradition, but molded into brisk arrangements that include key modulations and bursts of solo improvisation.
“Improvisation existed in Sonrai music,” explained Toure, “but in another form. In our ceremonies, there’s an original melody that is played by the kurbu [a 3-stringed lute]. When the energy rises between the players and the dancers, the kurbu player leaves his melody, and follows his heart. But if you tell that kurbu player to work with a modern group and ‘improvise,’ you have to explain to him what it means.”
Mamar Kassey’s travels eventually brought Toure to New York City, where he now lives and performs with his current band, Deep Sahara. Toure can cradle an acoustic guitar and fingerpick his way through desert trance grooves, and he can also take up a flatpick, and wail on electric—edging desert folklore into the realm of blues and rock. One day, he plans to return to Niger to set up a studio and form an international touring band. For now, Toure is merely one of the most riveting African guitarists to be found in the United States.

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On Feb 5, 2012, Kaleidhaphonic treated the WKCR FM-NY listening audience to a live performance.  It was a magical evening.  Kaleidhaphonic is

Kevin Nathaniel Hylton – Mbira, Rattles, Shakere
Tripp Dudley – Tabla
Salieu Suso – Kora
John Ragusa – Flutes, Conch Shell