Thursday, May 8, 2008

Habib Koite in Providence

Last night the parents, kids, husband and I went to see Habib Koite at Lupos. What a great show!

Habib and his band played mostly stuff from the new album, Afriki... which by this point I know by heart, LOL. It was very exciting to hear the songs played live. Habib and his band are extraordinary musicians.

I will say that for me, the highlight of the night was listening to Mahamadou Koné, the talking drum player. He was simply spectacular, running around on the stage, madly playing a tiny drum wedged under his arm with a stick in his right hand and his left hand flapping against the skin at a crazy pace. The sounds coming from the drum were totally otherworldly. He clearly was in touch with the spirit of that drum!

Sidy came with us, but quickly disappeared to hang out with his friends from Mali. At one point, though, I bumped into him as he was leaving the bathroom and dragged him over to meet my friends Emily and Bill.

At the end of the concert, a few Malian musicians from the audience were invited onstage to play. Moussa, Sidy's friend from Boston, played djembe. Baila, another talking drum player, jumped in. And at one point they all started asking Sidy to come up, but he hung back. Later he said that there were already enough musicians up there. Perhaps that is true. For Sidy, it is not about the ego. It is about the music.

It was a great night.

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