Vieux Farka Toure Live! Podcast 205

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itunes-button1This was a real incredible experience.  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
smoking band!  Many thanks to World Music Institute and Le Poisson Rouge for making this happen.  This podcast will air on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY at 11pm Sunday Oct 2nd and stream and www.wkcr.org.

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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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Awa Sangho with the Brooklyn Raga Massive All Stars – Podcast 182

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The opening concert of Brooklyn Raga Massive’s 3 month residency at Pioneer Works was a smash.   For this special night,  we had an ambitious triple bill,  celebrating the full year of the  Africa/India series collaborations that had been produced by NYC Radio Live, Afro-Roots Music night and Brooklyn Raga Massive.    We featured the “golden voice of Mali,” Awa Sangho, with by the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars, the electro-acoustic Kora/Tabla duo Orakel with Kane Mathis and Roshni Samlal and the original band in this new genre Afrika Meets India, led by Kevin Nathaniel on Mbira and Eric Fraser on Bansuri.

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Here we’ll hear Awa Sangho’s complete set with the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars the first time these artists came together. You can feel the energy from this explosive set!  This was recorded live by James Clark and mixed with love by Sameer Gupta.  

This video from Josh Adler at Treeline Pics really captured it! Check out his whole web series chronicling the “Raga Rennaisance”

 

This concerts was broadcast on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY 7-9pm Febuary 7th at 2016.

Awa Sangho, Vocals, percussion

Daniel Moreno, percussion,
Joshua Geisler, bansuri
Michael Gam, bass
David Ellenbogen, guitar
Arun Ramamurthy, violin
Jay Gandhi, bansuri
Kane Mathis kora,
Roshni Samlal, Tabla
Malick Koly, drumset

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Awa Sangho: The Golden Voice of Mali – Podcast 56

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As the world’s eyes turn to her hometown of Timbuktu, Awa Sangho, the golden voice of Mali,  visits NYC Radio Live.   Awa, who learned song-craft from Ali Farka Toure, has since toured the world with a who’s who of African Music:  Salif Keita, Manu Dibango, Amadou and Mariam, Habibe Koite, Cheick Tidiane Seck,  Marc Cary, Bassekou Kouyate and Oumou Sangare. Her exquisite new album, yet to be released, was first heard this night by the listening audience of WKCR.
She is joined by master percussionist Daniel Moreno, who has collaborated with countless jazz and world music legends from George Benson and Roy Haynes to Chico Buargue.

Oumar Konate brings the electric sounds of Timbuktu to NYC – Podcast 51

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Oumar Konate and Dramane Toure

Oumar Konate performs live at the WKCR studio joined by guitarist Dramane Toure, bassist Mohamed Ag Mohamed, and percussionist Mahalmadane Abbanassane.  We were lucky to catch these gentlemen on their way to perform at Lincoln Center.  Earlier in the summer they had been touring and recording  with Tibuktu’s Khaira Arby, the “Nightingale of the North.”

Like Abdoulaye Alhassane of Podcast 49, Oumar was born in Gao in Northern Mali an area where all music has been silenced by extremists this year, we’ll hear an interview with him about that along with his manager, the producer and music critic, Christopher Nolan.   For more music recorded by Oumar check out Podcast 19.

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.

Recordings from Mali! (Oumar Konate, Noura Mint Seymali and more) Podcast 19

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I’m back from the Sahara, and, as promised, have a ton of recordings to share with you.  This special show was originally broadcast on WKCR on 89.9 FM-NY and features rough mixes of studio recordings with up and coming guitarist and pop star Oumar Konate, Griot Royalty Noura Mint Seymali from Mauritania recording exclusively for us in her flat in Timbuktu, artists from Niger informally jamming in their tents and the Festival Au Desert and much, much more. We’ll hear this Takamba band in the photo above- they use a car battery and a PA and the flute ends up sounding just like Jimi Hendrix…