San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Look out for this one! Making music the members call “Trans-Global Psychedelic Groove,” Dogon Lights is an exciting world fusion project featuring Guinea’s master of the djembe drum, Alpha “Bongo” Sidibe, and members of the award-winning band Hamsa Lila (Vir McCoy and Evan Fraser), with Troy Lush on keyboard and guitar and Cuban-born Yaquelin Laporte delivering her Afro-Cuban vocals over the top. They create a funky and energetic dance atmosphere that takes the listener straight to the stars, using traditional skin and wood instruments played over electric grooves and inspired traditional vocals. The Dogon Lights brings together a blend of instruments such as the sintir and guimbri from Morocco, the kamale n’goni (similar to the kora), calabash and djembe drums of West Africa, and bass, guitar, keys, sax, and flute from the West. The word “Dogon” comes from the Dogon people of Mali who believe they are descendants of the Sirians – thus the Dogon Lights.
International kora star Karamo Susso opens the evening with a rare solo performance (he returns with his full electric band on Jan. 31), in a deeply personal celebration of Malian music. Born in Gambia and raised in Mali, Susso grew up in a compound of griots, next door to Toumani Diabate. His uncle was Ballake Cissoko. He was playing kora and performing before he was big enough to hold the instrument; he has since gone on to perform with many of Africa’s top stars.
The kora, the 21-stringed harp lute of West Africa, originated in the ancient Kingdom of Mali more than a thousand years ago. Tradition tells that djinns brought it into this world and gave it to the griots: families whose place in the culture was to sing the epics of heroes and relate histories. The griots played kora and sang in court to praise the kings, and in the villages to carry news and to celebrate traditional ceremonies. The music is intricate, elegant, and potent. It is sweet while strong, percussive while lyrical, active while calm. Centuries of complex tradition are heard in it, as are simple truths.
When & Where
Ashkenaz is the East Bay's home to world music & dance... established 1973; nonprofit since 1997. We are always all ages! Kids 12 & under are admitted free unless otherwise noted.
All of our online ticket sales are will call. We will have a list of ticket buyers at the door; you do not need to bring a printout of your ticket/order confirmation.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, or 30 minutes before the dance lesson if there is one, unless otherwise noted.
Ashkenaz's Café opens when doors open and offers beer (draft and bottled), wine, kombucha, juices, sodas, coffee and tea, and snacks and light meals (all vegetarian, mostly organic).