$20 – $25

Bal du Kor: West African Trio

Event Information

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Location

Location

Red Poppy Art House

2698 Folsom Street

San Francisco, CA 94110

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

No Refunds

Event description

Description

Three veteran performers/composers/recording artists join forces to create an enchanting blend of traditional and original West African melodies and rhythms. The heart of this dynamic and captivating ensemble are the indigenous instruments balafon (marimba), dun-dun (talking drum), and kora (harp), combined with alto flute, ukulele, melodica, djembe, djun-djuns, shekere, bells, tambourine, and vocals. The band’s emotional range spans from the delicate and longing to the inspiring and ecstatic, while its collective cosmopolitan backgrounds give birth to unpredictable musical excursions.

Featuring

Michael Smolens – balafon, djun-djuns, shakers, bell, dumbek, tambourine, alto flute, melodica, vocals
Ben Issacs – djembe, dun-dun, udu, shekere, bell, cajon
Daniel Berkman – kora, djembe, bell, tambourine, electric ukulele, vocals

About the Artists

Michael Smolens leads a host of different trios, quintets, and large ensembles. Whereas all of these other groups are highly arranged, Bal du Kor is primarily improvised, combining his love for free improvisation with his fascination for West African music. Smolens has been composing for nearly a half a century and freely incorporates colors, moods, and arranging concepts from a multitude of influences. His primary sources of inspiration include modern jazz, modern vocal flights, 20th-century classical, North Indian classical, contemporary Brazilian music, accompanied Sufi poetry, and stage magic. His works have been recorded by jazz legends Stefon Harris, Paul McCandless, and Pandit Zakir Hussain. Smolens is also a veteran teacher, consultant, author, and poet.

Ben Isaacs (“Professor Slap”) has been playing music his whole life. Starting with violin at age seven, he played trumpet, guitar, piano, voice, clarinet, and saxophone during his youth. When 19, he was introduced to West African percussion and started a passionate connection with hand percussion that has grown for the last three decades. At the same time, he started playing bass and has been working with the instrument in many different styles—from American funk, rock, jazz, and R&B to working with many African artists from different countries on the African continent. P-Slap has traveled four times to West Africa to better understand the culture from which the music comes and to study with master percussionists there, as well as here in the U.S. His teachers include Abdoulaye Diakite, Karamba Dioubate, Abdoul Doumbia, Mabiba Bagne, Sulemon Diop, Dibi Diop-Faye, Mohammed Camara, Moussa Traore, Diop Percussion, Bolocada Conde, Mamady Keita, Fara Tolna, and others.

Daniel Berkman is a composer, multi-instrumentalist (keyboard, guitar, percussion, drum set), vocalist, electronic musician, RTFM recording artist, and innovator on the kora—a 21-stringed harp from West Africa. Upon finding this ancient jewel in 1996, Berkman wasted no time in unearthing the kora’s compositional and sonic potential, first by exploring its rich heritage of traditional playing techniques and repertoire, then by extending its electronic possibilities through devices such as the Whammy Pedal and the Oberheim Echoplex. His first three albums—Heartstrings, Feverdreams, and Headlands—mark this period between 1996 and 2000 which feature Berkman creating other worldly soundscapes and a playing technique drawing on his myriad influences. His latest work, Calabashmoon (2005), is a collection of crafty and poignant kora pieces woven into a tapestry of recorded samples and impressions of West Africa.




FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

EVENT TIME

When should I arrive?
Doors open 30 minutes before the scheduled performance time. For example, if the show is scheduled to start at 7:30pm, the doors will open at 7:00pm. If the show is scheduled to start at 8:00pm, the doors will open at 7:30pm, and so on.

TICKETING & ADMISSION

If an event is sold out online, could I still purchase tickets?
Unless otherwise noted, a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Guests may buy tickets 30 minutes before the scheduled performance time when doors open. Please note that the quantity available may vary depending on capacity and online sales.

Does purchasing an advance ticket guarantee seating?
Purchasing an advance ticket guarantees admission, but does not guarantee seats. Seating is first come, first served.

Does the Poppy accept debit or credit cards?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards for ticket sales, concessions, and donations.

What's the refund policy?
Refunds are only available in the event of a cancelled performance.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event? Is there a discount for children?
No, this event is all ages. However, refreshments will be served at the concessions counter. Children 10 and under receive free general admission.

Where are my tickets?
Your tickets will be emailed to you as a PDF attachment from Eventbrite on behalf of the Red Poppy, or you may access them in the Eventbrite app. If you do not see your order confirmation in your inbox, make sure to check your junk/spam folder. Enter your email address
here if you can’t find them, you’re having trouble printing, or if you’re not sure if you have an Eventbrite account. For all other technical issues, you can find help here.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
You may bring your printed ticket or show your ticket on your phone. There will be no tickets available for pick up at Will Call.

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?
Yes, you’re welcome to purchase tickets for someone else.

VENUE & LOCATION

Is the space ADA accessible?
Yes, there is a ramp at our 23rd St entrance.

What kind of seating do you have available?
For most of our events we have folding chairs and a few couches available.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
Street parking is available but can be limited around the Red Poppy. We encourage you to take public transportation whenever possible. Several MUNI lines run close to the Red Poppy, and the 24th St. Mission BART station is just under half a mile away.

What can I bring into the event?
Guests are welcome to bring food. Beverages are available by suggested donation. We recommend bringing collapsible strollers, if possible.

How can I donate to the Poppy?
You may bring cash, check, debit or credit card, or donate online at http://redpoppyarthouse.org/participate/give/.

Where can I grab a bite to eat?
Nearby places include El Farolito, Taqueria Vallarta, Basa Seafood Express (sushi), and Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine. For more options,
click here.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
You can reach us at
info@redpoppyarthouse.org or give us a call at (650) 713-5383.

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Date and Time

Location

Red Poppy Art House

2698 Folsom Street

San Francisco, CA 94110

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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