Historian, storyteller, praise-singer, genealogist, adviser, diplomat, interpreter, witness, entertainer, composer, teacher—the West African griot wears more cultural hats than James Franco and dresses and dances a lot more splendidly to boot. Internationally heralded singers and musicians from various tribal cohorts in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone will exhort the audience with the help of ecstatic waterfalling grooves during the West African Griot Summit, an expanded edition of an event that originated during last year’s Fête de la Musique. The summiteers include singer Abdourahmane Mangara, kora virtuoso Yacouba Diabate, Mandingo Ambassadors leader-guitarist Mamady Kouyate, drummer Mamady Kourouma, and balafonist Famoro Dioubate, who will join guest vocalists and other players on timbin flute, djembe drum, and gambare and ngone lutes for this peak experience.
Tue., Nov. 27, 7 p.m., 2012
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