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Music, Social Studies, World Languages

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba

About the Artist

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba bring the magic of cross-cultural collaboration to students through hands-on workshops, classes, and participatory concerts. Kaira Ba is led by Diali Keba Cissokho, a kora player, drummer, and singer from Senegal. He has been sharing his culture through music with middle-school-aged children in the US since 2011, and has done school residency programs all over the east coast. He hails from a long line of prominent griots who are entrusted to maintain a West African village’s genealogies and important ceremonial affairs through song. When Cissokho immigrated from Senegal to North Carolina, he initiated a collaboration that he hoped might bridge the Atlantic. Over the past eight years, Kaira Ba has built a close and lasting collaboration, producing three full-length albums, touring extensively in the United States, and voyaging twice as a band to Senegal to collaborate with Diali’s extended family and community.

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba ecstatically explore the spiritual songs, stories, and rhythms of Senegal’s millennia-old Mandé culture, working to sustain one of West Africa’s most expressive legacies with their own energetic interpretations. The band showcases the kora playing, singing, and storytelling of bandleader Diali Keba Cissokho, performing a selection of original compositions and contemporary interpretations of classic Mandé songs that draw on a repertoire dating back several hundred years in Mande West Africa (now parts of Senegal, Gambia, Guinea and Mali). For instance, their song “Alla L’a Ke” was popularized in the mid-20th century but can be traced back to a much older dance rhythm from Kita, Mali called “Jawura.” In Cissokho’s hands, however, the music evolves beyond mere preservation. In this assembly presentation, Cissokho and his band effortlessly integrate the traditional sounds of the kora with a modern rush of electric guitar and an exuberant rhythm section.

Grade LevelsK-12
MaximumsUnlimited, 60 minutes, 4/day
Technical Requirements

For a full band performance, school must provide adequate PA system. For solo, duo, or trio performances, only microphones will be required.

Total Fee1 performance - $660 - Solo, $2750 - 5 Piece Band / 2 performances (same day and same school) - $880 - Solo, $3300 - 5 piece band
School Portion1 performance - $330 - Solo, $1375 - 5 Piece Band / 2 performances (same day and same school) - $440 - Solo, $1650 - 5 piece band

Led by Senegalese griot Diali Cissokho and his longtime collaborators in Kaira Ba, this experience will provide the students with lessons on cultural diversity, experiences of immigration and collaboration across lines of difference. Students will be exposed to musical concepts through performance and small-group workshop experiences. The residency will begin with a full band concert that will engage the students in the joy of live musical performance. This performance will feature songs and storytelling from Diali’s West African heritage, and will invite the students to participate by moving, clapping, singing and listening to the parables, song, and rhythms that motivate Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba’s music. In student workshops, Diali and band members will use drumming and storytelling to communicate lessons on the value of diversity, mutual respect and cross-cultural learning. Diali will supply 30 djembes for students to practice with. They will learn basic musical coordination skills and concepts such as rhythmic pulse, subdivision and the playing repeating parts. Students will learn to listen to one another as they take turns improvising and supporting one another within the ensemble. Diali will tell stories about his millennia-old Mande heritage in West Africa, his journey to the United States and his life in North Carolina as an immigrant.

Grade LevelsK-12
Maximums20, 50 minutes, 4/day
Technical Requirements

None required for workshop

Total FeeWorkshop - $220
School PortionWorkshop - $110

Led by Senegalese griot Diali Cissokho and his longtime collaborators in Kaira Ba, this experience will provide the students with lessons on cultural diversity, experiences of immigration and collaboration across lines of difference. Students will be exposed to musical concepts through performance and small-group workshop experiences. The residency will begin with a full band concert that will engage the students in the joy of live musical performance. This performance will feature songs and storytelling from Diali’s West African heritage, and will invite the students to participate by moving, clapping, singing and listening to the parables, song, and rhythms that motivate Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba’s music. In student workshops, Diali and band members will use drumming and storytelling to communicate lessons on the value of diversity, mutual respect and cross-cultural learning. Diali will supply 30 djembes for students to practice with. They will learn basic musical coordination skills and concepts such as rhythmic pulse, subdivision and the playing repeating parts. Students will learn to listen to one another as they take turns improvising and supporting one another within the ensemble. Diali will tell stories about his millennia-old Mande heritage in West Africa, his journey to the United States and his life in North Carolina as an immigrant.

 

Grade LevelsK-12
Maximums20, 50 minutes, 5/day
Technical Requirements

None necessary for residency.

Total Fee5 day residency - $2,500
School Portion5 day residency - $834

References

  • Cheryl Chamblee, Chatham Arts Council, 919-542-0394

Website

www.kairabamusic.com