The Dust and Sheen of South African Hip Hop

Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 9:47 am (UTC-5)
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IMG_8603When I first heard the current hit South African song “Caracara” I knew I wanted to meet this crew. If there’s a winning recipe for feeling good, at least for 3:52 seconds, “Caracara” is it. The lazy, urban tempo, the sexy flow, and simple catchy hook is infectious.

One listen drove me straight to Youtube searching for the video. Ishkanda artist K.O and his crew, Cashtime Tsosti for Life, did not disappoint. ”Caracara” is the local name for the Volkswagen minibus theme in the video and symbolic of good ghetto party time with beautiful women.

I went to Johannesburg and met up with the K.O, Kid X and the rest of the crew on October 2nd and we’ll meet them in a moment. But first, check out the video now if you haven’t seen it yet.

Caracara was shot in Soweto, the nation’s largest black urban township in Johannesburg and famously trendsetting place for politics, fashion, language, and music and dance.

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So when I arrived in Johannesburg I’d already made arrangements with CashtimeLife’s CEO, Thabiso Khati, to meet with the whole crew.

We arrived thirty minutes late, due to an over-casual local fixer, but the crew were courteously waiting for me in a conference room of a high-end business campus; So much for the stereotypeIMG_8601

of the irresponsible and undisciplined musician.  After brief introductions and an awkward gift-giving moment (when I presented them VOA tee- shirts that didn’t exactly excite their dust-and-sheen stylistic sensibilities) we went outside for a quick photo/video shoot.

We settled by the pond and here in order of appearance I present DJ Vigilante, Ma-E aka Easy Does It, Kid X, Maggz, K.O aka Mr. Cashtime.

The CEO of CashtimeLife Thabiso Khati runs the company of artists as individual business units. Each artist, including one female who unfortunately could not make today’s interview, approaches his and her own art as a business. Thabiso encourages them to take ownership of their own units and equips them with their own team of booking managers, marketers, and marketing strategists to bring out the best the unique talents of each artist.

casthime feetCashtimeLife is only one year old, but two of its core members, MaE and KO, came over from an older crew called Cashtime Entertainment that has won several awards including a nomination for Best Group at the 2010 MTV Africa Awards. They are young but not newcomers. Furthermore, says Khati, most of the members have university degrees so he feels like they can’t go wrong. They don’t think that it’s cool to drop out of school. Instead, they are banking on their education to be the tool that turns their music into money. “We’ve got to monetize and capitalize,” says Khati. “We understand where the world is going so we’re playing in technology. We’ve launched our own digital platform where you can buy music. We actually aggregate content for other labels as well…We have merchandise…” Thabiso

Khati considers the longevity of an artist’s career. “It’s cool to be an artist but there comes a time when you just want to do one or two shows a year. You don’t want to be out on the road. Maybe guys settle, they’ve got families. But you also want to make sure that they settle into a day job that’s still within what they love and that they have ownership of that… the only pension is to create opportunities for guys to keep earning when they stop making music.

One big question I had for Khati was about the style of Hip Hop they call Skhanda. He defined it very nicely. “You take dust, you take sheen, you put them together and that’s bling.” Khati continued to explain Skhanda in historical context. “South Africa is split in two. The sections that aspire to be first world and you got third-world elements which are in the majority.

“We come from the third world elements. We come from the townships.”

He goes on to explain that growing up in the townships, they would acquire hand-me-downs and make the best of them by turning them into creative styles. But since 1994, more and more young people are growing up in an expanding suburban, black middle class who are Hip Hop’s number one consumers. They live in what we call the sheen. We come from the dust. So now, we take certain elements from where we come from… you see guys in Jordans, in gold chains…” I interrupted him to get one of the crew to demonstrate:

 

Skhanda is not only a style of dress that has changed the way kids dress, and music (of course) but it’s also a style of talk. It surprised Thabiso Khati recently to see that the kind of slang which CashtimeLife created amongst themselves as a crew is now everywhere on Twitter. For Khati and the crew, however, Skhanda is their opportunity to monetize and capitalize. He mentions their tee-shirt line, sock line and a new merchandising deal in the works. “It’s beyond music,” he says, “It’s how you take music and apply it to everyday life.”

We wrap up the interview with Khati repeating a point he’d brought up earlier about the importance of education. “Nelson Mandela said it best: The only way to come out of poverty is via education.

“We gotta teach that and preach that and show that education is not square.” Khati emphasizes that they come from the townships. He is from Meadowlands, in particular, and is a scholarship kid, so they are all cases-in-point that anyone can be whatever they want to be regardless of where they come from.

 

As for what’s next for CashtimeLife, Khati says “Music awards are great and nice, but it’s not what we work for. For me, the guys, and the whole crew, It’s being able to push the culture forward. Being able to do what’s never expected. And while doing that, the centerpiece is great music.”

 

 

 

 

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

Jazz in Johannesburg

Posted October 5th, 2014 at 4:03 pm (UTC-5)
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IMG_8598I arrived in Jozi late Tuesday afternoon September 30th, stiff and exhausted from the fifteen-hour flight. But after a good night’s sleep and fresh morning coffee, I was ready to discover the music of the city and, oh how I did. By around 9:00 p.m. that evening I was watching these cats pictured above, mesmerized by their dazzling performance.

Earlier that morning I visited Kaya FM 95.5 Kaya FMto meet Nicky B, the venerable host of the weekly radio program, the World Show.  Nicky and I hung out in her studio sharing stories about African music and favorite artists, and she tuned me in to what’s current in the Johannesburg music scene.

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Nicky B and Me in Studio

One of her leads led me to the live concert later that evening at The Orbit – Jazz Club & Bistro. The trio was one of the most exciting performances I’ve seen in years. Three musicians I’d never heard of but will not ever forget are Kesivan Naidoo – drums, Shane Cooper – double bass, and Kyle Shepherd – piano. Wow!

The concert was Kesivan’s release party for his band’s new CD Brotherhood. But for some reason that I can’t remember now, Kesivan didn’t actually have available copies yet. Still in production, I think. The trio outfit from the 6-piece band Kesvian and the Lights played original pieces composed by each one and featured the new ones from Kesivan’s Brotherhood CD. The arrangements were tight, original and impeccably executed. Yet, there was plenty of open, easy room for each artist to stretch out and show us exactly why they are considered South Africa’s hottest new jazzmen from the Cape today. Here’s a sample of the show:

 

 

I spoke with all three of them after the gig. They said this was their first performance as a trio. Soon they and the rest of the The Lights are on their way to the U.S. for the Carnegie Hall festival of South African Music that runs from October 8th to November 5th, 2014. Stay tuned for more from Kesivan and the Lights right here on my blog and youtube channels as well. After New York, they are headed to Washington DC and Kesivan promised to stop in at VOA for an interview.

IMG_8703During the break, I wandered down to the entrance of Orbit where a delightful first-year vocal jazz student was taking the door money and selling CDs of artists that perform at the venue. They included the most recent of Kesivan, Shane, and Kyle and several others. IMG_8709

 

 

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

Kenya’s Jabali Africa Performs “Percussion Discussion” and More – Studio 4

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 8:28 pm (UTC-5)
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Before I left for Central Africa in May and June, I had the opportunity to invite a local, Washington- area Kenyan band for a music interview here at VOA headquarters. They are called Jabali Africa or The Rock of Africa. Check out this great interview and music, including an amazing instrumental piece aptly titled “Percussion Discussion” led by Joseck Asikoye.


Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

Music Time in Rwanda – Nyundo and Rubavu

Posted July 11th, 2014 at 3:08 pm (UTC-5)
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When I first arrived in Rwanda it was already dark. Ben and Mugabo from the U.S. embassy met me at the gate and swiftly checked me into a hotel. After the 16-hour flight from Washington, D.C. it didn’t take long before I was fast asleep. The next morning at dawn’s first light, I re-packed my suitcases and checked right back out to drive to Gisenyi in the Western Province. My first and only full day in Rwanda would take place in that region before returning to Kigali for the rest of the tour.

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From left to right, Joey Blake, Ibrahim Tam-Fum, Ben Ngabo, Sam Mugisha, Heather Maxwell, Jaques Murigande, and Honore Iyakaremye. School of Arts and Music – Nyundo, Rwanda 5/28/2014

Ben and Mugabo already waiting for me in the lobby at 7:15 a.m., plus two of the musicians that would be my band for the next 4 days: a local, five-piece, jazz outfit.

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School of Arts and Music. Nyundo, Rwanda

The trip to Gisenyi took about three hours. We traveled northwest and round and round up steep, green hills. I understood immediately how Rwanda got it’s name “land of thousand hills.” The countryside was breathtakingly beautiful and the towns and farms appeared well-organized. By the time we arrived at those high altitudes, though, I had a whopping headache.

Destination #1 was the School of Arts and Music (SAM), formerly known as Rwanda’s premier art school, Nyundo School of Art. It was established in 1952. When we arrived classes were in session. I met the three music teachers Ben Ngabo (drums/voice), Honore Iyakaremye (keys), and the Music Head, Jacques Murigande (guitar/voice), popularly known as Mighty Popo. These guys were also the other remaining members of my Rwandan band. They quickly introduced me to their students and welcomed me with two well-rehearsed choral pieces.

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Art students at work

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Art students at work

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Popo (Jacques Murigande) introduces me to his music students

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SAM’s first class of music students singing recently learned choral music.

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Paying a special nod to the female music students

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the introductions Popo and went to a rendez- vous with the station manager of Rubavu Community  Radio, Steven Kalisa, at the station in Rubavu. We met Steven, took a tour of the station, and talked about African music on the radio.

 

 

 

After a quick lunch, it was time for the band’s rehearsal and sound check. We had a performance that night at the Catholic preparatory seminary school, le Petit Seminaire, in Nyundo. Thousands of young men and some women attended, including the music students from SAM. I performed my classic repertory of jazz (Autumn Leaves, All of Me, Girl From Ipanema, etc.). They were an attentive and receptive audience. The audience really came alive when I called some of the SAM singers and dancers up on stage to join me in two classic African songs. Here’s a clip of the event.

 

Not bad for Day 1 in Rwanda. The band and I just clicked and this debut performance was one of many more great concerts, workshops, and musical exchanges to come over the next few days. Stay tuned for the next post in this series for more Music Time in Rwanda.

 

 

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

Pantaleon Playing Mvet – Direct from Yaounde

Posted June 25th, 2014 at 7:18 pm (UTC-5)
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I recently returned from an exciting music tour in Rwanda and Cameroon. I brought back fantastic music cds and audiovisual field recordings of time spent performing and work-shopping with local artists, students, and broadcast journalists. Pantaleon and Heather

This short clip features a traditional poet musician from the Eton-speaking region of Cameroon. His name is Pantaleon and he plays a multi-gourded string instrument known as the mvet.  He sings in Eton. We met poolside at the Hotel Mt. Febe which overlooks the sprawling city of Yaounde.

Pantaleon said he uses the first song to say goodbye to a rude host, particularly one who invites he and other musicians to play but refuses to offer them good food or drink. He sings to the host as he leaves, “This wounded heart will never heal.”

In addition to my new music and field recordings from Central Africa, I also brought back that mvet with the hopes of composing (and tuning) my own songs.  Thanks, Pantaleon. Special thanks also to musical artist Manuel Wandji (aka Wambo) and to Jonathon Koehler and Olivia Mukam from the U.S. Embassy – Yaounde.

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

A Concert for Willis

Posted May 22nd, 2014 at 2:44 pm (UTC-5)
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On Tuesday April 29th, the sounds of live jazz rang out in the Voice of America auditorium.  A concert was held to celebrate a studio dedication in honor of our own legendary Jazz producer and broadcaster Willis Conover. Jazz PosterSMALLfile2014

Two groups were featured, the U.S. Navy Band Commodores and yours truly, Heather Maxwell and my trio. The video clip below features our performance and is introduced by VOA Music Director Eric Felton, an accomplished jazz musician himself.

Russian bassist, Victor Dvoskin opens our set with a powerful personal narrative about his special relationship to Willis followed by the instrumental “Just Squeeze Me.” Robert Jospé is on drums and Bob Hallahan on keys. I then join the guys to sing “Autumn Leaves”, “Cry Me A River”, “Girl From Ipanema”, and “Body and Soul”.

 

It felt fabulous singing on this occasion for my fellow VOA colleagues and with my cats. I regularly gigged and toured with them in Virginia from 2006-2010. As a true American art form, jazz is a historic and living treasure.

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VOA Director, David Ensor – Willis Conover Studio Dedication Ceremony and Tribute Concert. 4-29-14.

After our performance, we heard from our esteemed Director David Ensor and then watched this VOA documentary produced especially for the occasion.  It tells the story of how Willis Conover’s daily VOA broadcast “Jazz Hour” was the driving force behind the explosion of jazz worldwide. For many, Conover’s American jazz was the only exposure to music from the West. It was especially meaningful for those like Victor Dvoskin who tuned in from from his basement behind the Iron Curtain.

 

 

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The U.S. Navy Band Commodores – Willis Conover Studio Dedication Ceremony and Tribute Concert. 4-29-14.

The U.S. Navy Band Commodores played the afternoon out with a swinging set of big band favorites including the Duke Ellington tune “A Train”. The day of the concert April 29th also celebrated the Duke’s birthday.

As a final note, although this concert for Willis sounded little to nothing like African music, it’s no secret that the deepest ancestral roots of jazz are originally West African. Syncopated beats, cross rhythms, call and response, and improvisation are musical proof of this kinship. “Jazz Hour” surely helped repatriate jazz back to it’s West African homelands which, in turn, spurred new innovative forms of mid-twentieth century music like Afrocuban, Congolese Rumba, Hi-life, and Afrobeat. Today, these styles are African classics and fodder for today’s artists to continue jazz’s evolution.

 

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

An interview with “The White Zulu”

Posted April 14th, 2014 at 6:28 pm (UTC-5)
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Johnny Clegg and son Jesse, who is his opening act, are touring North America for three months of non-stop shows from New York to California.

My next question was, “What can I ask this icon that the world over doesn’t know already?” When I told a West African friend of mine that Clegg was coming to concert, he immediately launched into “Asimbonanga” and sang it the whole way through in Zulu. I asked how he knew Zulu and he said “I don’t! I just memorized the song phonetically.” I laughed in surprise and he added, “…all of us Malians know this song!” When I posted on Facebook that I was going to interview Johnny, a Canadian friend of mine responded “The White Zulu!” After my interview, I posted this picture of us without any words…

…and a Congolese music promoter posted “Is that Johnny?!”

Choosing my interview questions for Johnny Clegg seemed as hard as choosing a gift for the man that has everything. We arrived at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium during sound check to find a younger looking Johnny on stage, singing and playing acoustic guitar. Turns out this was Johnny’s son, Jesse. His voice was beautiful and not that different than many American singer/songwriters today. When Jesse left the stage for the dressing rooms, we followed him with our cameras and gear to set up for the interview. While waiting for Johnny to appear, Jesse talked excitedly about  his first American tour and about rock and alternative music in South Africa. He wanted to see Washington’s monuments and the White House but was frustrated because they had to leave immediately on the bus to make their next gig in Philly. After Johnny arrived, we proceeded to a room with a piano. I asked him if he plays and he smiled, shaking his head. “I don’t play a bit,” he said.

As you’ll see in the interview below, I finally figured out what to ask Johnny. It came to me after meeting Jesse, hanging out with Johnny’s long-time bandmates and his tour manager, Patrick. Sometimes it’s better not to plan. I asked Johnny questions that I wanted to know — about Nelson Mandela for example, the origins behind his international stage name “The White Zulu”, what it’s like to tour with his son, and his impressions of South African music today. I hope you’ll find our conversation as interesting and entertaining as I did. In between our chat, you’ll see several clips of the live performance Johnny and Jesse gave that beautiful night.

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

Mali’s Trail Blazers of Traditional Music

Posted March 19th, 2014 at 5:37 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s post takes an exciting departure from my typical in-studio interview sessions at Voice of America headquarters. This time, I brought Voice of America with me to the University of Maryland to record an African music event entitled “Music, Mali, and Citiflyerzen Diplomacy“.

I also sat on the panel of this unique performance and discussion program as a Malian music expert. What made this event exceptional was the representation at once of Malian griot music (or jeliya) by Trio Da Kali and Malian rap by Amkoullel. Together, they represented the two sides of Malian music culture. One was the hereditary caste of wordsmiths who carry the torch of collective memory in their ancient music, stories, and speech. The other was the free-wheeling rappers who, though wordsmiths in their own right, come to music as a profession through their own means and ways and are known as artistes.

The event was part of a larger U.S. tour series that featured a brilliant collaborative performance between Mali’s Trio Da Kali and America’s own Kronos Quartet.

This first video includes the songs “Kalimba” and “Ladilikan” (:36-5:48), performed by the amazing Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté on vocals, Fodé Lassana Diabaté on balafon, and Mamadou Kouyaté on bass ngoni. Ethnomusicologist, radio host, and music producer Lucy Duran explains (in English) the fascinating background and meaning of “Ladilikan” as an interpretation of American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson‘s song “I’m Going to Live the Life I Sing About in My Song”. This song is one of the collaborative  works of Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet.

At 5:50, the panel talks about Malian music and rapper Amkoullel joins Trio Da Kali from 9:56-16:02 in an impromptu performance. The last segment features another impromptu collaboration with Amkoullel and myself!

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Two nights later, I attended the concert with Kronos Quartet. This was their debut performance together and with the permission of Lucy Duran, the Aga Khan Music Initiavie and the Clarice Center for the Performing Arts, I offer this delicious musical excerpt. The song is “Diaraby” — one of the foundational classics in griot (jeli) repertoire.

The concert was breathtaking. Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté’s rich, round, powerful voice never missed its mark. Her theatrics were equally on point, charming us all through gestures and expressions that transcended the language barrier. Fodé Lassana Diabaté’s virtuosic playing and jaw dropping execution of rapid fire riffs up and down the balafon was flawless. At times he and David Harrington, the first violinist (and founder) of Kronos, traded off musical phrases and ideas in playful spirit that drew giggles from the audience. Other moments of note featured unexpected string quartet passages from Kronos that opened up new dimensions of Trio Da Kali’s classics, experimental balafon melodic passages that evoked hints of jazz and blues, and a thrilling rendition of another gospel song by Mahalia Jackson “God Shall Wipe All Tears Away.”

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Fodé Lassana Diabaté on balafon

After a robust standing ovation, a discussion with the artists followed. The audience was curious and unquestionably moved by this stunning concert. Hands kept popping up with more questions about both groups’ processes of collaboration, their repertoires, and the way they communicated musically during the performance, among other things. One woman who prefaced her question with the disclaimer that she didn’t know anything about music “I’m an architect”, she said, criticized the groups for not collaborating enough. It was her feeling that the griots of Trio Da Kali stayed too traditional while Kronos adapted their music too much; that the give and take from one tradition to the other was not equal. Fortunately one Malian in the audience quickly rebuked by saying that for Malian ears Trio Da Kali was making dramatic, if not  historic, departures from jeli music. Many others in the audience confirmed and another round of applause ensued. Not that we don’t love classic jeliya but this new sound of Trio Da Kali is irresistible.The Trio Da Kali – Kronos Quartet US Tour blazed an exciting path, and I for one, can’t wait to hear more from them soon.

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Mamadou Kouyaté – bass ngoni.

Trio Da Kali

Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté

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Trio Da Kali and Amkoullel. Seated: Heather Maxwell, David Crocker, and Lucy Duran (not visible).

 

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

Mali’s Mamadou Kelly Sticks to Classic Sahelian Sound

Posted February 14th, 2014 at 8:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Mamadou Kelly was a name I hadn’t heard of before, but his new CD was compelling. The music in Adibar, released in 2013 by Clermont Music, made me stop everything I was doing at the time and just listen. There are no bells and whistles to this music; no novelty, no modern twist. Kelly’s sound is classic Malian Sahel. He sings in Songhai (his native tongue), Bambara, and Fulfulde. His calabash player is one of Ali Farka Touré‘s original band members.

In this interview from September 29th 2013, Kelly and his band Bancaina perform three songs “Adibar,” “Sehenon Men,” and “Nansongo.” The interview is in Bambara with English subtitles. In  between songs, they introduce each instrument: the bara, jurukelenin, juru belebeleba, and guitar. Mamadou also talks about the meaning of each tune, the situation in northern Mali as it was during the time of the interview, and his hopes to record songs in every Malian language one day.

 

I translated the interview from Bambara to English. Thanks also go to Kadiatou Traoré from the Bambara Service of the Voice of America.

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

Two Big Cissoko Releases

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 6:47 pm (UTC-5)
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Sousou Cissoko and her husband Maher Cissoko are a musical couple who definitely drum, or more appropriately strum to their own beat. In 2011 I saw them perform in Mali and admired the way they captured their audiences. Their music was tight and original too, but we didn’t meet back then so I was excited to learn that they were going to be my guests on Music Time in Africa. It’s not every day one hears a Swedish/Senegalese duo making beautiful, original music.

After performing at the House of Sweden on October 20th Sousou and Maher Cissoko joined me the following day on Music Time in Africa where they gave a live performance of three songs.

Sousou is pregnant and they talk about their two big new releases – one being their baby and the other being their forthcoming CD. They also tell us the fascinating story of the making of their 2011 album Stockholm-Dakar. But words can only say so much, so watch the video and get to know this fabulous couple.

Listen again to the song “Janfata” and other live music selections from Music Time in Africa interviews in my new “Latest Selection” column. You’ll find that on the right hand side of the page.

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

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Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award-winning radio program “Music Time in Africa” and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with Doctorate and Master’s degrees from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

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