Fri. 7/23: Ethnomusicologist Ryan Skinner explores the rich culture of Mande in New York City.
New York's Mande community has blossomed over the past 20 years. The story that begins with the rise of the king Sunjata Keita in 13th century Mali now extends to music-filled social gatherings among West African diplomats and businessmen in the Bronx and Harlem, not to mention electro-griots, and of course, fusion! Musicians like Mamadou Diabate, Papa Suso and Yacouba Sissoko (all kora players), Famoro Diabate and Bala Kouyate (balafon players), and the golden-throated griot vocalist Abdoulaye Diabate are so excellent that they have inevitably been invited to participate in a wide variety of jazz and pop music projects in New York City and around the country. We'll meet them, hear their stories and music, and get historical and cultural context from ethnomusicologist Ryan Thomas Skinner.