Ballake Sissoko: Griot for peace

84a78d99a42ff0832131e6fccac249a9

A while ago, in Paris, I lived in a garret and sang the hooks for an Algerian hip hop outfit called Mortel.  The music scene in the city was outlandish, with Turks, Brazilians, and Indonesians bringing genres in to blend with electronic music heads and French country revivalists. 

Musicians I met out at shows lived comfortably off little and had free health care.  In that panoply of shiny Parisian nightlife, some of my favorite friends were from Mali.  One of them, Mamadou, keeps in touch on FB, he left Paris to run security for a royal family living in Cairo.  I think of my friends this week when I hear news of French troops sent into Mali.

At Peace is the title of the new record from Malian artist Ballaké Sissoko coming out February 5th (Six Degrees Records).  His new record is the second collaboration with French trip hop cellist Vincent Ségal, who has played with Cesaria Evora and Blackalicious.  Sissoko plays the kora, a lute-harp indigenous to Mali and together the two musicians forge a global approach to chamber music that results in a classical style with a fresh edge.  The record also features Malian players on guitar, balafon and ngoni, the African ancestor of the banjo.

Sissoko’s father was a renowned kora player, or griot, and Sissoko has brought the tradition to the world stage playing with blues great Taj Mahal and all across Europe.  At Peace is music actively aimed at healing.  It brings classical genres from Paris and Vienna along with music passed down by master griots of across Mali and weaves them into modern times as musical diplomacy.

Ballake Sissoko performs with Vincent Ségal February 28th at Florence Gould Hall at The French Institute.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…