Back in August, Fulbright scholar Seth Swingle was a guest on WTJU's Sunset Road, playing his banjo and ngoni, and talking about his upcoming nine month stay in Mali studying, primarily, ngoni playing, but also kora.
Seth is now in Mali, and is blogging (hopefully) weekly, and it promises to be a fascinating window on Malian music from someone who already knows a fair amount about the culture, the players and the music. In one of our conversations, Seth told me that one time he had been talking to Bassekou Kouyate about a performance he had witnessed of Bassekou's band Ngoni Ba playing during one of his previous trips to Mali, and Bassekou revealed that that just happened to be the inaugural performance by the band! (Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba are now the darlings of the world music scene, and were, in many of the 200,000 attendees' opinions, THE stand out performers at the recent Richmond Folk Festival.)
To check out Seth's blog, go HERE. (His latest post has this field recording of his kora teacher Toumani Kouyaté, playing "Salimu," a traditional Malian song about the dangers of alcohol. )
Posted by Pete, WTJU Folk