Category Archives: Africa

Fundraising Campaign: Ecole Fula Flute (Conakry, Guinea)

L'ECOLE FULA FLUTEGreetings Dear Friends,

Thanks to your generosity, our Ecole Fula Flute, in collaboration with the Centre Tyabala de Guinee, is doing well and enriching the lives of many kids in Conakry (Guinea).

We further our students’ individual and musical development and thus contribute to advance Guinean culture by bringing up a new generation of dedicated flute players thereby infusing a new life in this iconic instrument.

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KLOUB NSSA: Spirit, Voice And Rhythm

Kloub Nssa

Photo by Mbarek AG

Text by Richard Bennett

Reaching beyond borders and cultures, KLOUB NSSA is a new collaboration between Brooklyn vocalist/percussionist/composer Paula Jeanine Bennett and the Moroccan all-women vocal/drum choir The Sufi Haddarattes of Essaouira. KLOUB NSSA means heart of women. The music of KLOUB NSSA illustrates this appellation with its potent blend of propulsive drumming and layered vocals.

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Mali’s Musical Life (P.2): Mali’s Musicians’ Lives

Text by Banning Eyre

Bamako Street

Photo by Banning Eyre

As reported last time, there is plenty of music going being played publically in Malian cities, especially Bamako, despite a State of Emergency. But the impression is deceptive. Crowds at nightclubs are thin. There are almost no foreign visitors to support clubs, festivals and concerts.

While street weddings are on, the families who sponsor them have less to spend, and are moreBamako: wedding with tama player and more inclined to cut costs by hiring lower-rung artists, often not griots as they would have been in the past, and there is less money changing hands. For musicians, there is hardly any point in recording, unless you are one of the lucky few to have an international career. Cellphone technology has made swapping music files so easy that even the pirates who used to undermine artistic careers with cheap cassettes and CDs have a hard time making sales.

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Mali’s Musical Life (P.1): The Present Music Scene

Festival Acoustic de Bamako

Photo by Banning Eyre

Text by Banning Eyre

In January and February, I made my fifth visit to Bamako, Mali. It was the first time back in ten years, and I was there with Sean Barlow to research new programs for Afropop Worldwide. We were especially interested to see how musicians’ lives had been affected in the aftermath of tumultuous events in 2012 and 2013 – namely, a rebellion in the north, eight months of sharia law under which music was banned in northern cities like Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal, a coup d’etat in Bamako, French military action to restore the nation’s sovereignty, and fraught elections bringing a new, fragile civilian government to power.

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The Creative Music Foundation (CMF) to Sponsor l’Ecole Fula Flute in West Africa

The Creative Music Foundation is acting as the nonprofit ‘fiscal sponsor’ for CMS alumnus Sylvain Leroux’s project to teach music to children in Guinea, West Africa. CMF is taking tax-deductible donations for the ‘l’Ecole Fula Flute.’ Read Sylvain’s story of how he started the school and the progress it’s made.

Text by Sylvain Leroux

Something very special has been happening in Guinea and l’Ecole Fula Flute has taken a life of its own.

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