Kairaba | Bynum General Store | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
This is a past event.
When: Fri., June 24, 7 p.m. 2011
Price: Free

Senegalese musician Diali Cissokho hails from an impressive lineage of griot musicians that dates back to the 14th century. His mother and father both descended from generations of griots—a traditional role in West African villages that perpetuated the area's culture and history through a combination of singing and storytelling. Although he moved to the United States just over a year ago, Cissokho continues the familial and cultural tradition stateside through performances on the kora, a 21-string instrument made of gourd and cow skin that looks, sounds and plays somewhat like a mix of harp and guitar.

Cissokho, who has been playing the kora since he was 6, jokes that the instrument is his second wife. "It is a very spiritual experience," he says. "You can almost hear the years of tradition being passed from our ancestors—their stories, their experiences, their wisdom."

Though Cissokho has collaborated with worldly Greensboro funk unit The Brand New Life and frequently performs solo, Kairaba!—a name that represents peace and love—teams him with a quartet of likeminded, globally influenced Triangle musicians he met through his wife and other mutual friends. Together, the five-piece brings authentic West African traditions in music and storytelling (with both English and the Mandingo and Wolof dialects) through a framework of polyrhythmic percussion and cascading kora notes. Donations welcome. —Spencer Griffith

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