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Carleton Celebrates the Musical Heritage of Mali with a Performance by Trio Da Kali

February 27, 2014

Carleton College invites the public to celebrate the musical heritage of Mali with a performance by Trio Da Kali on Monday, March 3 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. These three acclaimed musicians hail from the Mande culture of Mali, descended from a long time of distinguished ‘griots,’ or specialist hereditary musical artisans. This performance is free and open to the public.

Presenting contemporary music from the heart of the Malian griot tradition, Trio Da Kali take audiences back to the roots of this grand tradition, undoubtedly one of the African continent's finest, most subtle, and sublime musical styles. The trio brings a fresh, contemporary, and creative twist to the music, breathing new life back into this ancient art form.

The trio’s name is derived from one of the oldest and most iconic praise songs in the griot repertoire, dating from many centuries ago. 'Da Kali' means 'to swear an oath' – in this case, the griots' pledge to maintain their art – and this show offers a rare glimpse into the soul of the art of the griot.

Trio Da Kali presents a performance that revolves around the soaring, rounded vibrato voice of Hawa Kassé Mady, who performs the songs she grew up with in Kela, one of the most musical centers of the griot world. The program includes dazzling solo balafon pieces by the group’s leader Lassana Diabaté on the 22-key balafon. Few can match his lyricism and virtuosity, and the resonant sound of the rosewood keys of his balafon. Mamadou Kouyaté underpins the music with punchy bass lines on a large ngoni, West Africa’s oldest string instrument

This event is sponsored by the Office of the Director of the Arts at Carleton College. For more information, including disability accommodations, please call (507) 222-4389. The Great Hall is located off College Street on the Carleton campus.