Concert review by Augusta Palmer
Every Friday night between 8 and 11 in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, you can be part of a musical tradition that’s almost 1000 years old. That’s the time that Sulieu Suso plays kora every week at Le Grand Dakar, Chef Pierre Thiam’s elegant restaurant.
A native of Senegambia, Mr. Suso has been playing the kora, an instrument made from a hollow gourd fitted with a rosewood neck and with 21 strings, since he began studying with his father at age 8. Sulieu Suso is a descendent of JaliMady Walyn Suso, who is often credited with inventing the instrument, and he’s a serious practitioner of an art that dates back to the earliest days of the Malian empire.
There are few instruments that instill a sense of uplift and peace like the kora, and Mr. Suso plays it masterfully. I’d heard him play twice recently with Randy Weston, and was delighted to hear that he has a regular weekly solo gig just a few blocks from my house.