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Washington may be chock-a-block with lobbyists and consultants, but only one of them rocks the ngoni, the West African plucked lute covered with animal skin. He advises presidents and the World Bank. Hes played for everyone from a struggling couple trying to save their marriage, to the U.S. Congress. Hes hobnobbed with American string and Blues legendsfrom Bela Fleck to Corey Harrisand along the way reunited his beloved instrument with its long-lost grandchild, Americas banjo. The music we griots play is not just about making nice sounds for dancing, its about giving a lesson to people about their lives. You tell them about what their grandfathers did, and what they should do now, explains Diabate, whose griot roots run deep as first cousin to kora master Toumani Diabate, and nephew to legendary Super Rail Band guitarist, Djelimady Tounkara. People trust the griot more than anyone else.Though Diabate may stick to the old-school roles of the griot, his music embraces the panoply of sound he discovered in America, taking him beyond the traditional trio of griot instruments: the ngoni, kora (gourd harp), andbalafon (wooden xylophone). He has long explored the connection between Americas traditions and his own griot roots. Like many American string players, including Bela Fleck with whom Diabate has collaborated and performed, Diabate noticed the eerie resemblance of his trusty ngoni and the banjo. In 2007, Diabates collaboration with banjo player Bob Carlin, From Mali to America (5-String Productions), led to a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional World Music Album. Yet while many American musicians have traveled to West Africa or picked up the ngonithanks in part to Diabates introductions and instructionfew African musicians have explored the possibilities of the banjo.Despite his love of new sounds, Diabate knows that the griot remains the same, regardless of whether hes singing under the WashingtonMonument, or in the shadow of a Bamako minaret (both of which are p
  • Start:July 06, 2018 Time: 9:00 PM
  • End:July 06, 2018 Time: 11:59 PM
  • Recurring
  • Where:Grey Eagle Tavern, 185 Clingman Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina, United States
  • Phone:N/A
  • Event Type: Other
  • Ticket Price:N/A


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