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Duke Arts Presents

Music in the Gardens: Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | 7:00 pm

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba ecstatically explore the spiritual songs, stories, and rhythms of Senegal’s millenia-old Mandé culture. Indeed, Cissokho comes from a long line of prominent griots, or storytellers, who are entrusted to maintain a West African village’s most important ceremonial affairs through song. But he is much more than a preservationist. Cissokho and his band, Kaira Ba, effortlessly integrate the traditional sounds of the African kora with a modern rush of electric guitar and an exuberant rhythm section. Together, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba sustain one of West Africa’s most expressive legacies with their own energetic interpretations. This concert — featuring guests Tony Williamson, mandolin, a recent recipient of the NC Heritage Award; jazz and gospel singers Shana Tucker and Tamisha Walden on vocals; and Mallarmé Players String Quartet, with Jennifer Curtis, violin — is also the hometown release show for the band’s new album, Routes. Recorded in Cissokho’s Senegalese hometown of M’bour with his American bandmates, and later augmented with contributions from local musicians back home in North Carolina, the new album is a musical conversation across the Atlantic.

Duke Performances’ 2018 Music in the Gardens is made possible, in part, with support from Duke Continuing Studies, Duke Summer Session & The Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba 'Kaira Ba (The Great Peace) Documentary'

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba 'Mbolo (Unity)'

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba 'Teeriyaa (Friendship)'

"Cissokho & Kaira Ba create a universally appealing sound full of bright tones and driving polyrhythm."