#3886: West African Strings

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Seckou Keita

Hear music that features the traditional string instruments of Western Africa, like the kora (folk-harp), ngoni (a lute-harp), and the guitar, which has become a traditional instrument in Mali and Senegal.

Listen to the 22-stringed kora, steeped in seven centuries of Senegalese tradition, from Seckou Keita. Usually the kora has 21 strings, but in southern Senegal and Guinea Bissau, the 22-stringed kora survives, despite the legend of the first ever kora given to the griot Jali Mady 'Wuleng' (Jali Mady 'The Red') by the djinns, the spirits of the African bush. When Jali Mady died, it was said that his fellow griots took one string away in his memory.

Hear music from Malian guitarist Anansy Cisse, along with the loping Saharan blues music from Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali.  Then, listen to music by Malian guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, known for his unique guitar tunings and his work with the Rail Band. (He was supposed to have been part of the recording sessions that produced the award-winning album Buena Vista Social Club, but his passport arrived late, so he was kept from participating.)

Also, listen to these West African instruments, as played by artists who have migrated to places like Belgium, France, Canada, and Lithuania. There’s music from Senegalese musicians Malick Pathé Sow (guitar, hoddu) & Bao Sissoko (kora), who now live in Belgium, from their fantastic 2012 record, Aduna.  Hear patient blues of the Loire river combining kora, violin, and ngoni from the French-Malian collaboration named Deltas. Then, hear music from the gorgeous 2015 record, Jardin Migrateurs, by the Canadian early music group, Ensemble Constantinople together with kora player Ablaye Cissoko. That, and much more. 

PROGRAM #3886, West African Strings  (First Aired 8-05-2016)     

ARTIST: Seckou Keita
WORK: If Only I Knew, excerpt [1:30]
RECORDING: Seckou Keita: 22 Strings
SOURCE: Arc Music EUCD/LP 2585
INFO: seckoukeita.bandcamp.com

ARTIST: Malick Pathé Sow & Bao Sissoko
WORK: Kora Julo [4:07]
SOURCE: Muziek Publique
INFO: muziekpublique.be, available at iTunes & Emusic.com

ARTIST: Anansy Cisse
WORK: Sekou Amadou [5:12]
RECORDING: Mali Overdrive
SOURCE: Riverboat, TUGDD1079
INFO: worldmusic.net

ARTIST: Noura Mint Seymali
WORK: El Barm [6:00]
SOURCE: Glitterbeat GBCD/LP 016
INFO: glitterbeat.bandcamp.com

ARTIST: Deltas
WORK: Deltas La [4:18]
RECORDING: Ligerian Blues
SOURCE: Buda Musique 860290
INFO: budamusique.com

ARTIST: Constantinople, Ablaye Cissoko
WORK: Fleuve (Fleuve Saint Louis) [5:00]
RECORDING: Jardins Migrateurs
SOURCE/INFO: ablayecissoko.lnk.to | constantinople.ca/creations

ARTIST: Malituanie feat. Baba Sissoko, led by Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė
WORK: Laydou – Promise [6:42]
RECORDING: Malituanie
SOURCE:  onerootmusic.com 
INFO: onerootmusic.bandcamp.com

ARTIST: Seckou Keita
WORK: If Only I Knew [4:22]
RECORDING: Seckou Keita: 22 Strings
SOURCE: Arc Music EUCD/LP 2585
INFO: seckoukeita.bandcamp.com

ARTIST: Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal
WORK: Super Etoile [3:54]
RECORDING: Musique de Nuit
SOURCE: Six Degrees Records
INFO: sixdegreesrecords.com

ARTIST: Djelimady Tounkara
WORK: Sory Mankanbora [3:23]
RECORDING: Djely Blues
SOURCE: Label Bleu LBLC2603
INFO: Available at iTunes, Emusic.com, Amazon.com

ARTIST: (Adebola) Kuku, feat. Tony Allen
WORK: Owo, excerpt [2:38]
RECORDING: Ballads & Blasphemy; the Areligious Gospel of Adebola Kuku
Buda Musique 860274
INFO: budamusique.com