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  • Tuesday, April 14, 2009
    Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra Takes Its "Jubilant Polyrhythmic Party" (Village Voice) on Tour
    Youri Lenquette

    Toumani Diabaté wrapped up his tour with Béla Fleck's Africa Project last week to kick off his own US tour with his Symmetric Orchestra. Toumani and the band are at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey this Friday, and then play two nights at Le Poisson Rouge in New York's Greenwich Village Saturday and Sunday.

    "For nearly two decades, the Malian master musician Toumani Diabaté and his astonishing Symmetric Orchestra have been performing epically long sets on Fridays at the Hogan Club, in Bamako," writes The New Yorker, "combining contemporary improvisation with the sonic riches of the Mandé empire." Says Richard Gehr of The Village Voice, "The Symmetrics deliver a jubilant polyrhythmic party of percussion, electric guitars, and Diabaté's 21-stringed instrument showering notes like a musical waterfall."

    ---

    Diabaté, whom Afropop describes as "quite simply the Best in the World on the instrument he plays," and Fleck were featured on NPR's Morning Edition yesterday to speak with the show's Renée Montagne about their collaboration and perform songs from their collaboration. They discuss the roots of Fleck's instrument, the banjo, in Western Africa and its relationship with that of Toumani. "Like Béla Fleck, Toumani Diabaté is also a virtuoso," says Montange, "his instrument is the kora." After a brief display of that virtuosity from Toumani, she declares, "I could sit all day and listen to that."

    Listen to the segment at npr.org.

    ---

    On Toumani's upcoming tour with the Symmetric Orchestra are a number of stops at universities and colleges, including the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Dartmouth College, and Wesleyan University, which include various educational events outside the concert hall as well, something to which Toumani, the descendant of a long line of Malian griots, the nation's bards, is well suited.

    The Hartford Advocate's John Adamian, in his preview of the May 2 Wesleyan performance, writes:

    Listen to last year's Mandé Variations, a record of solo kora performances by Diabaté, and you can hear both the virtuosity and the surprising bursts of cascading runs on the strings. The glassy tone of the harp can be soothing, but the patterns and counter-rhythms are deeply groovy.

    That groove can make for a very danceable sound, he continues. "The connection is made clear on the first track of Boulevard de l'Independance, by Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra," says Adamian. "The album launches with precision-stitched accents, evoking be-bop, Cuban dance music and Afro-pop all at the same time."

    Read more at hartfordadvocate.com.

    For upcoming tour dates, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra Takes Its "Jubilant Polyrhythmic Party" (Village Voice) on Tour

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on April 14, 2009 - 1:40pm
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 15:00
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Toumani Diabaté wrapped up his tour with Béla Fleck's Africa Project last week to kick off his own US tour with the Symmetric Orchestra this week in New Jersey and New York City. "The Symmetrics deliver a jubilant polyrhythmic party of percussion, electric guitars," says The Village Voice, "and Diabaté's 21-stringed instrument showering notes like a musical waterfall." Fleck and Diabaté are featured on NPR's Morning Edition; on which Renée Montagne describes, after a performance by Toumani: "I could sit all day and listen to that."

Copy: 

Toumani Diabaté wrapped up his tour with Béla Fleck's Africa Project last week to kick off his own US tour with his Symmetric Orchestra. Toumani and the band are at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey this Friday, and then play two nights at Le Poisson Rouge in New York's Greenwich Village Saturday and Sunday.

"For nearly two decades, the Malian master musician Toumani Diabaté and his astonishing Symmetric Orchestra have been performing epically long sets on Fridays at the Hogan Club, in Bamako," writes The New Yorker, "combining contemporary improvisation with the sonic riches of the Mandé empire." Says Richard Gehr of The Village Voice, "The Symmetrics deliver a jubilant polyrhythmic party of percussion, electric guitars, and Diabaté's 21-stringed instrument showering notes like a musical waterfall."

---

Diabaté, whom Afropop describes as "quite simply the Best in the World on the instrument he plays," and Fleck were featured on NPR's Morning Edition yesterday to speak with the show's Renée Montagne about their collaboration and perform songs from their collaboration. They discuss the roots of Fleck's instrument, the banjo, in Western Africa and its relationship with that of Toumani. "Like Béla Fleck, Toumani Diabaté is also a virtuoso," says Montange, "his instrument is the kora." After a brief display of that virtuosity from Toumani, she declares, "I could sit all day and listen to that."

Listen to the segment at npr.org.

---

On Toumani's upcoming tour with the Symmetric Orchestra are a number of stops at universities and colleges, including the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Dartmouth College, and Wesleyan University, which include various educational events outside the concert hall as well, something to which Toumani, the descendant of a long line of Malian griots, the nation's bards, is well suited.

The Hartford Advocate's John Adamian, in his preview of the May 2 Wesleyan performance, writes:

Listen to last year's Mandé Variations, a record of solo kora performances by Diabaté, and you can hear both the virtuosity and the surprising bursts of cascading runs on the strings. The glassy tone of the harp can be soothing, but the patterns and counter-rhythms are deeply groovy.

That groove can make for a very danceable sound, he continues. "The connection is made clear on the first track of Boulevard de l'Independance, by Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra," says Adamian. "The album launches with precision-stitched accents, evoking be-bop, Cuban dance music and Afro-pop all at the same time."

Read more at hartfordadvocate.com.

For upcoming tour dates, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

featuredimage: 
Toumani Diabate 2

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