JAZZ FEST INDEX - 2007 Rochester INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL

Mamadou Diabate

Mamadou Diabate started his show by announcing "We are here to make you happy tonight" and he fulfilled his promise. He is from a long line (like seven centuries) of musicians in Mali and his music is is steeped in old African melodies. He was here at Kilbourn two years ago without the percussion and bass players and he really didn't need them this time. He plays a 21-string harp called the kora and its light drone and plucked strings sound beautiful with the wooden, xylophone-like, balafon. Mamadou did a song he wrote that had a one word title in his language that meant "someday the enjoyment will end" (their language is more concise than ours). The song was not a warning but another reminder to be here now. - photo by P Doddy - click photo to advance > next