Have you ever heard of BURKINA FASO--a small country on the edge of the Sahara desert, wedged between MALI and GHANA, one of the poorest in the world, populated by short-haired sheep, goats, and chickens, (used to be called UPPER VOLTA,) as well as over 7 ethnic groups? Does the word GRIOT mean anything to you? Samba, Solo, and Amadou Diarra come from a large griot family in Djibasso, Burkina Faso, near the Mali border. Griots are the ancestral musicians, and the oral historians, of West Africa. The three boys, from the Bobo tribe, grew up playing with their family for weddings, baptisms, funerals. They are now based in the capital city, Ouagadougou. They call their group Djenkadi, which means "Unity Brings Strength," in Jula, one of their native languages. In this debut album, "Tounga," Djenkadi has one foot in traditional music, and the other in the night club, combining the traditional sounds of djembe (hand drum), balafon (wooden xylophone), ngoni and kora (gourd harps), flute, calabash (gourd drum), dundun and talking drum, with an electronic back beat, bass, saxophone, vocal harmonies, and rap (in one song). They sing of betrayal, love, death, AIDS, and the injustices of being a poor musician in a poor country. The title track, "Tounga" means "The Adventure," which, for young people in West Africa, also signifies the coming of age process in which one leaves home to seek one's fortune. The songs are in Jula, and Boaba, their tribal language, as well as French and English. They recently completed a tour of Norway, receiving enthusiastic reviews, and continuing their adventure. Songs: (*composer and lead vocalist) 1. Molobalitche (*Solo Diarra) Don't exploit me, Molobalitche, you're a cruel man. I suffer but he doesn't understand. It is better to laugh at the bald head of an old man than to laugh at his penis. 2. Destin--Destiny (*Amadou Diarra) Destiny, it's destiny. Everyone has a purpose in life. God created some people rich, some poor. The griot's purpose is to play music. 3. Djakari (*Solo Diarra) Djakari fired me. It doesn't matter--I'll be rich some day. If you don't respect elders, and your family, everything you do is worthless. 4. Djarabi--Beloved (*Amadou Diarra) I love you, my darling 5. Saya--The Dead (*Samba Diarra) In life, patience is better than regret. The witches have killed my family with djudju. One must never forget the dead. 6. Djen Manguele--It's easy to get together (*Amadou Diarra) But hard to make things work out. If you are generous, people get jealous and send the djudju man out to get you. 7. Artistiwou--The artists (*Samba Diarra) Life is hard for musicians 8. SIDA--AIDS (*Samba Diarra) AIDS is a deadly disease that has no cure. Wear condoms, or you will catch it! 9. Tounga--The Adventure (*Solo Diarra) Going on an adventure is not easy. It takes courage to beg forgiveness. Let's get together Africa. Djenkadi: Samba Diarra: lead vocals, flute, ngoni, balafon,calabash backup vocals Solo Diarra: lead vocals, kora, ngoni, djembe, dundun,calabash, backup vocals Amadou Diarra: lead vocals, ngoni, djembe, dundun, taman, backup vocals Guests: King David: ngoni, backup vocals Tabitha Doniach: backup vocals Sylvain Dando Pare: bass Marc Sare: tenor saxophone Salif Diarra: kora Ali Diarra: taman Mamoudou Diarra: balafon Muchacho: rap Kevin Dee: rap Brianna Taylor: backup vocals.
You May Also Like
Page 1 of