Mande Strings

World Music Series

September 21, 2016 | 8:00 PM Kilbourn Hall
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  • Tickets: $8-$27
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Mande Strings3-min - reduce

Mande Strings

On the heels of Kokanko Sata’s successful 2014 U.S. tour, Cradle of Jazz Project raises the bar even higher by bringing together three of Bamako’s finest stringed musicians for a showcase of Mande melody.

In October and November of 2016, Kokanko Sata Doumbia will team with Assaba Dramé and Lamine Soumano to bring the strength of Mande stringed melody to American classrooms and concert halls. The Strings Showcase features guitar, kora, and two Malian ngoni styles—the lute-styled jeli ngoni, and the harp-styled kamalen ngoni. Delivering an exquisite demonstration of both modern and traditional Malian sounds, this tour also provides a unique lens for jazz, blues, and rock artists to get hands-on experience with the unique scales and rhythms which formed the backbone of much early American music.

Early leading Blues authority Paul Oliver noted that blues melodic sources are best traced to stringed styles of the West African Savannah, citing the “melodic-rhythmic interdependence” of harps such as the ngoni and kora….. Lucy Duran (BBC Radio) reports the jeli ngoni is “heavily redolent of the blues,” noting similarities in “pentatonic scales, 6/8 rhythm and…fingering techniques that include slides, pulls, hammers and vibrato…” Jazz sax pioneer Sidney Bechet, among others, self-identified as the descendent of a West African hunter’s jeli…

Through concert, lectures, & teaching residencies, this Strings Showcase brings Malian Blues to life for the student, scholar, and music-lover.

The World Music Series is generously supported by Barbara B. Smith.

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