Mali’s renowned Diabaté lineage of praise singers, epic-poetry reciters, and kora players — hereditary musicians known as griots — extends several dozen generations into the past. Its most recent maestros are the late Sidiki Diabaté, who introduced Western audiences to the harplike, 21-stringed instrument; his son Toumani, the instrument’s current master, who released the world’s first solo kora album (Kaira) in 1990 and subsequently expanded its possibilities in groups like Ketama and his syncretic Symmetric Orchestra; and Toumani’s own 23-year-old son, Sidiki, who is a successful hip-hop producer in Mali, as well as the family’s latest kora ace. Released this spring, Toumani & Sidiki is a glorious collection of traditional kora music performed by father and son, whose brilliantly cascading notes complement one another like tributaries flowing into a common river. See them perform with singer and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré tonight.
Wed., Sept. 24, 8 p.m., 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 17, 2014