LIVE: Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba @ Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3/24/10

March 26th, 2010, 1:52 pm by Greg

Amy Sacko and Bassekou Kouyate

Amy Sacko and Bassekou Kouyate

There was dancing at the Sanctuary for Independent Media on Wednesday night. Lots of it. All around the edges of the seats, the standing-room-only audience members were dancing. On the stage, the band was dancing. Heck, even I was dancing.

Some audience members danced up the center aisle to lay money at the feet of the musicians. One woman danced up the aisle and placed a dollar bill on the sweaty forehead of the bandleader, as is the Malian tradition. Later, she danced up the aisle to place jewelry on the hands of the lead vocalist.

Malian musician Bassekou Kouyate is a master of the ngoni, a small stringed instrument that’s something of a cross between a lute, a mandolin and a banjo. He played on Bela Fleck’s marvelous “Throw Down Your Heart” album and the film of the same name. Tonight, he’s performing at Carnegie Hall.

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Be Here Now: Bassekou Kouyate @ the Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3/24/10

March 23rd, 2010, 3:40 pm by Greg

On Friday night, Afropop star Bassekou Kouyate will bring his band Ngoni Ba to the stage of Carnegie Hall. But Nippertown music fans won’t have to travel down to NYC to catch them in action – Kouyate and his band will be playing on Wednesday night at the Sanctuary For Independent Media in Troy.

The veteran master of the ngoni (a banjo-like stringed instrument), Kouyate collaborated with banjo maverick Bela Fleck on Fleck’s stunning “Throw Down Your Heart” album, and the Malian music master has just released a new album of his own, “I Speak Fula” on the venerable Seattle indie rock label, Sub Pop.

The all-ages concert begins at 7pm on Wednesday, and admission is $10.

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