Internationally reknown Malian Kora player, Toumani Diabate, will grace Minnesotans with a performance at the Cedar Cultural Center this Thursday. The Kora is a traditional West African instrument similar to a harp or lute. Of Diabate;
He is descended from 71 generations of kora players, transmitted without interruption from father to son! With that kind of bloodline and a lifetime of playing under his belt, it is understandable that Toumani Diabaté is the undisputed master of the instrument, a highly versatile form of 21-stringed harp fashioned from a gourd. Diabaté’s first solo recording in 20 years, The Mandé Variations (Nonesuch), is a stunningly beautiful, immediately accessible blend of traditional melodies, original compositions and breathtaking improvisations. ‘The Mandé Variations’ is probably the most ambitious and challenging African instrumental album yet released. It is at once the definitive statement on where the kora is today and simply one of the most beautiful and melodically accessible albums you will hear this year. An important album for Africa, an important album for the world.
The concert starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 day of the show. This is one show you don’t want to miss. If you are wondering what a Kora sounds like, here’s a sample of what you’ll see at Diabate’s concert.