Welcome To The New African Music Treasures

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The footage is recorded in Charlottesville, Virginia (2010) and Bamako, Mali in 2000 when I lived there to research music for my doctorate thesis in ethnomusicology. I learned how to play that stringed instrument (kamalen ngoni) when I was in Bamako in 1999-2000 and before that when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali in 1989-1991; both times from the same player, Shiaka Sidibe. I recorded hundreds of lessons just like this one, in his home in Lafiyabougou, Bamako and live performances such as the one we were headed for in the back of this pickup truck shown below – a wedding celebration (1999). One of the best kamalen ngoni players today is Benogo Brehima Diakite. Benogo plays with Oumou Sangare. His introduction to the same song Yala that I mentioned earlier with regard to the jazz band playing a Malian piece, features his wonderful funky style on this uniquely Malian, electro-acoustic, pentatonic harp-lute. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip.
For more information, visit http://blogs.voanews.com/african-music-treasures/2012/06/11/welcome-to-the-new-african-music-treasures/

Music can change the world

Have you ever heard a song that inspired you? Music has the power to move us and to change us. Yet todays music mostly does not seem to have the same earth-moving, society-shaping effects as that of the past. Much rarer are the antiwar sentiments of composers like Bob Dylan of the US. The anti-apartheid and government-challenging lyrics of musicians like South Africas Miriam Makeba and Nigerias Fela Kuti have largely been exchanged for party-hard, live-the-rich-life lyrics. With todays technology, music has become even more of a part of our life experiences: we listen to it on our drive to work, when we go to parties, while we study, when we exercise and in so many other settings.
For more information, visit http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/12/01/music-can-change-the-world/

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