Some Saharan warmth to beat back the cold

As the temperature drops here in St Paul, and it seems like winter will never end, this video dropped into my in box and warmed things up a little. It’s of Malian musician Bassekou Kouyate and his band Ngoni Ba who will be coming to the Twin Cities to perform in April at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.

Kouyate plays the ngoni, an ancestor of the banjo. His music echoes back over the centuries, but is at the same time very modern. Last year he was honored with the BBC Radio Three award for best world music. He’ll come to Minnesota as part of a huge tour, part of which he appropriately enough be supporting banjo master Bela Fleck.

There’s a lot to learn about the background to this music, but frankly on a day like today, it’s just really pleasant to roll the video, and let the sounds of a warmer place wash over you.

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