Saturday, January 12, 2013

Music from Gambia

Modern ethnic Mande in the Gambia are called the Mandinka, and they make up around 36 per cent of the country's population. The region of Brikama has produced some very famous musicians, including Amadou Bansang Jobarteh and Foday Musa Suso. The latter founded the Mandingo Griot Society in New York City in the 1970s, bringing Mande music to the New York avant-garde scene and collaborating with Bill Laswell, Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet.

Gambian popular music began in the 1960s, when The Super Eagles and Guelewar formed while hip bands were playing American, British and Cuban music. The Super Eagles went to London in 1977, appearing on Mike Raven's Band Call. They played merengue and other pop genres with an African flourish, including Wolof lyrics and minor stylistic elements. After the performance, the band began jamming out some traditional tunes and an unknown man heard, told the group that that was the style they should be playing. This inspired the group to return to their country's musical roots, and they spent two years travelling around the Gambia and studying traditional music. The reformed band was called Ifang Bondi, and their style was Afro-Manding blues. 
From Wikipedia.

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