Daniel Schnyder’s “SUNDIATA KEITA” concert with the RSB at the Philharmonie Berlin 6 Mai, 2009!

Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi

One important activity in life is to interact with people around you. Every day you meet people here and there. If you like them and care for them, they become friends later. Or the other extreme way…they could become enemies. Music, which is an element and part of life, is also about interaction. Such as the interaction between a musician and his audience, between a composer and the orchestra performing his composition, between musicians and musicians of the same group.


Photo by Anja Tanner

Here is one example how I got to know two great musicians: Daniel Schnyder (composer



Courtesy of Michael Wimberly

and saxophonist) and Michael Wimberly (drummer/producer).

I heard about Daniel Schnyder through his wife who I met accidentally at a Harlem coffee shop last year. When I told her about me being a musician, she started to speak about her husband who I should meet sometime in the near future. Unfortunately I haven’t met him in person yet. But with the help of the internet I got to know him.

I met Michael Wimberly at a Hollow Bone concert when I was invited to play with them on a couple of songs.  After the gig Michael and I had a little chat. He talked a little about himself and mentioned that he could play the djembe and the sabar as well. His teacher is Mar Gueye who is also one of my sabar players in my band. What a small world, isn’t it?! But he didn’t mention anything about Daniel.

Sometime later after that gig I searched for Michael in YouTube and found under his name the two videos below. I was surprised to see him performing with Daniel in Berlin the year before. Again: what a small world and it’s always amazing how musicians meet each other.

I really liked the two videos because the performance and interaction between the orchestra and the soloists was done very well and the dynamics of the music was very smooth.

About the two videos

This is the premiere of Sundiate Keita which was composed by Daniel Schnyder. Performed by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and 3 musicians from Mali (Abdoulaye Diabate and two other Malian musicians) along with Michael Wimberly on the djembe at the Philharmonie Berlin. Sundiata Keita is based on folklore from Mali.