Saturday 13 February 2021

Meher and Sher Ali - 2004.Jun.01 Festival in Fes R6

Meher and Sher Ali in concert [source: oneworldsmusic]

I have posted before about the Festival of World Sacred Music yearly held in Fes [Fez], Morrocco [see 2011]. This time its a recording made in 2004, the year being most famous for Youssou N'Dour presenting his Egypt album there, but I have something else: the brothers Ali from Pakistan.


Meher and Sher Ali were born in the Pakistani border-town of Kasur in the early 1950s and received their earlier training in classical music from their father who was a court classical singer at the small Sikh principality of Patiala (India). Their father was the disciple of Fateh Ali Khan, the father of the famous Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Young Sher Ali was the student of Bakhshi Salamat Ali Qawwal, while Meher Ali was taught by Muhammad Ali Fareedi, an ordained Sufi qawwal of the shrine of the 13th century Sufi, Baba Farid. Meher Ali was thus trained in Sufi philosophy, poetry, texts and rituals.
All qawwals must have a deep knowledge of Sufi poetic texts. In practice, this often means sacrificing musical quality to retain purity of text. Meher and Sher are qawwals who have achieved the rare combination of both musical quality and authentic text rendition: Sher is known for his abffity to understand the importance of rhythm (lai-kari) and render classical modes in a strong voice, while Mehr's heart-rending high- pitched voice strikes the heart (zarb-ul-qalb) when the poetry contains words of entreaty or sorrow.
Already at a young age the Ali brothers were recorded for radio and televison in Pakistan, their first album was released in 1980. More than 40 albums followed and they made many international tours spreading their music, texts and everything related to it over all continents.
summarized from bio at

Listen to a track from their soundcloud page

MEHER & SHER ALI - 2004.Jun.01 - Festival Fes Morrocco R6

rec.2004.Jun.01 at Festival of World Sacred Music in Fes / broadcasted 2010.Jan.12, [former] Dutch Radio 6 - Radio 6 Live

setlist: unknown [so one long uncut part of the concert]

Some Multi Media

*included in download


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Sunday 31 January 2021

Noura Mint Seymali - 2015.Aug.19 Berlin FHE

Noura Mint Seymali - live 2015 [source:]

Noura Mint Seymali is the daughter of famous and respected Mauritanian musician Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall who was responsible for modernizing much of Mauritanian music. His daughter now holds that position, she learned from many other family members, including her step mother, the beloved national singer Dimi Mint Abba, with whom at age 13 she began her career as a supporting vocalist.
From a very early age, she was trained in instrumental and vocal technique by her grandmother, Mounina, mastering the ardine, a harp reserved only for women, and singing at weddings with family. Noura Mint Seymali currently drives the legacy forward as one of Mauritania's most adventurous young artists, her music is rooted in the intensely complex classical music of Moorish North Africa.
In Mauritania, there are five modes to the music and traditional artists move in a kind of "melodic orbit" through the modes during a performance. Each mode has multiple under-modes that are referred to as black or white. It's a kind of coloring to the music that helps bend the mode in a certain direction, either black which lends violent tension, or white, which lends a softness or elegance. The push and play between these helps transform each mode. One needs a degree in ethnomusicology and years of study to really get at the heart of what is made to seem effortless.
Noura together with her husband Jeich Ould Chighaly on guitar formed their first "fusion" band in 2004 after working together for many years as a duo in the local traditional circuit. Jeich's unique sound, mirroring Noura's vocal lines and refracting their melodies into the either, was born out of years of practice presiding over wedding ceremonies where solo guitar or tidinit directs the dance. Two albums released locally in Mauritania - Tarabe (2006) and El Howl (2010) - marked initial efforts at adapting a "modern" style.
Eventually joining forces with bassist Ousmane Touré and drummer/producer Matthew Tinari, Noura Mint Seymali distilled a core sound and began working as a quartet from 2012 onwards. With a rhythm section firmly in place, Noura Mint Seymali’s quartet sound was built around a deliberate return to Moorish roots, led by the raw music of the "azawan," a word in Hassaniya that refers to the ensemble of traditional instruments in Moorish culture; the ardine, tidinit, guitar, t'beul. After releasing two experimental EPs with this ensemble, Azawan (2012) & Azawan II (2013), both recorded locally in Nouakchott. The band's first full-length album for the international market - Tzenni - was released in 2014 June, combining refurbished tracks from the Azawan EPs and new material recorded in Brooklyn, NY. In 2016 September followed the album Arbina.
Through performances at major international venues and collaborations with well-known artists the band exposes Mauritanian roots music to the world. In a rare merger of cultural authority and experimental prowess, Noura Mint Seymali applies the ancient musical traditions of the griot with a savvy aesthetic engagement in our contemporary moment, emerging as a powerful voice at nexus of a changing Africa.
summarized from bio at

Listen to Ghizlane [live]

NOURA MINT SEYMALI - 2015.Sep.19 Berlin FHE

rec.2015.Aug.19 Kantine Berghain, Berlin / bc.2015.Sep.09, FunkHaus Europa World Live 
setlist: 1.Ya Demb / 2.Ghizlane / 3.Hebebeb / 4.Richa / 5.El Madi / 6.Tzenni / 7.El Mougelmen / 8.El Barm 

Multi Media with Noura Mint Seymali


2006: Tarabe [local album]
2010: El Howl [local album]
2012: Azawan [digi EP]
2013: Azawan II [digi EP]
2014: Tzenni [CD/LP/digi, Glitterbeat] - bandcamp
2016: Arbina [CD/LP/digi, Glitterbeat] - bandcamp


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Thursday 21 January 2021

Terakaft - 2014 Sziget Festival Budapest FHE

Terakaft at the 2014 Sziget Festival in Budapest [picture: FHE]

This time of the year, half of January, used to be the Festival in the Desert in Mali. It has been held from 2000 till 2012, after which first the rebellion then its aftermath and now the Corona-virus pandemic, all have caused that it could not be held somewhere in the Sahara Sand near Timbuktu. I have posted before some less known recordings of the festival, have some more but these still need some preparation works. So decided to post recordings of a Tamasheq group at a European festival.

Biography of Terakaft

Nicknamed Khiwaj (the Giant), Kedou is known to all the Tuaregs, as much for his active involvement in the rebellion, as as an emblematic musician in early Tinariwen.
He experienced exile in Algeria, then the Libyan training camps in the 1980s. It was in this context that he met Ibrahim Abaraybone and Intiyeden, beginning with them the long history of Tinariwen. He has fought in Lebanon, in Chad under the Libyan flag and engaged in the rebellion of 1990.
After the peace agreements, he participated in 1992 with Hassan, Diara and Abdallah in the first studio recording of Tinariwen in Abidjan, then in 2001 recording the album "The Radio Tisdas Session". At the time when Tinariwen reached international notoriety, Kedou continued his own path in Algeria.
In 2007, he returned to Kidal to form the group Terakaft with Diara (brother of Intiyeden and another historical composer of Tinariwen) and young guitarists from Adrar, giving birth to "Bismilla", his first western album, followed in 2008 with "Akh issudar".
After their 2008 European tour and the album "Akh isshudar", Kedou decided to leave the group, which tightens around Diara and Sanou and young musicians of Adrar. Then follow the albums "Aratan n Azawad" (2011) and "Kel tamasheq" (2012).
source: [through the wayback machine]

Listen to Kel Tamasheq [live]

TERAKAFT 20140816 - Sziget Budapest FHE

recorded 2014.Aug.16, Sziget Festival on an island in the Danube in Budapest
bc.2014.Sep.15, FunkHaus Europa - World Live [now called Cosmo - World Live]

setlist: 1.Ténéré Wer Tat Zinchegh / 2.Alla Fall Manine / 3.Diya Idohana / 4.Kel Tamasheq / 5.Arghane Manine / 6.Imad Halan / 7.Wer Esinen / 8.Imidiwan / 9Aimama Imaima / 10.Mijao / 11.Tameyawte / 12.Karambani

line-up [probably]: Liya Ag Ablil, aka Diara - gitaar, zang / Sanou Ag Ahmed - basgitaar / Nicolas Grupp - drums

Some links to enjoy:

added link: 

Short Discography

2007: Bismilla [CD, Tapsit]
2008: VA - Ishumar [CD compilation, Reaktion]
2008: Akh issudar [CD, Tapsit]
2009: Live 2008 [digital, Tapsit / Reaktion]
2011: Aratan n'Azawad [CD, World Village]
2012: Kel Tamasheq [CD, World Village]
2012: VA - Songs for Desert Refugees [CD compilation, Glitterhouse]
2014: The Tapsit Years [CD compilation, Reaktion]
2015: Alone - Ténéré [CD/LP, Out Here Records]


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the sand in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Jali Nyama Suso - 1986.Sep.10 Kershaw Session

Jali Nyama Suso 1984 [photo by Dagmar Gebers, source: fmp-label]

To follow-up the Mbira from Zimbabwe with the Kora from West-Africa felt like a very good idea, so I looked which special recordings I have. That appeared to be a repeat of two tracks of a 1986 Radio Session by Jali Nyama Suso, which seemed to be an Andy Kershaw session. So checked the recently found Andy Kershaw fansite [see the post about Oumou Sangare's 1993 Session] and found there two other tracks, which on closer hearing appeared to be the [almost] complete session. Almost because at least one track, which I had already in the repeat version, is edited.

About Jali Nyama Suso

Jali Nyama Suso from Bakau (born circa 1925; died 1991) is acknowledged as one of the greatest kora players of the 20th century. Born Mohamadu Lamin Suso, Jali Nyama was one of the first artists to bring the kora to international attention through his work as a performer, teacher and historian.
By the age of 8 he was already playing the kora but his career as a griot was severely hampered at the age of 16 by the loss of his leg. However, undeterred, he moved into radio in 1956 and went on to establish his own weekly radio show which ran for over 20 years.
In 1971 he was invited to teach at the University of Washington where he recorded his first album, Gambie: L’Art de la Kora - Jali Nyama Suso. This was the first international album of solo kora which featured him both playing and singing. He also contributed as a Gambian historical advisor to Alex Haley in the celebrated world-wide television series, Roots.
In the 80’s he toured in UK, France, Sweden and Germany leaving his distinct artistic imprint on the world. He is remembered by kora players for his brilliance of tone and his distinctive colours and timbres he brought to the instrument. He is also remembered as the composer of the Gambia national anthem which is based on the traditional melody of Fode Kabba. He passed away in 1991 from tuberculosis after several years of illness.
source: [incl.short video!]

Listen to Lucy [in edited version]

SUSO JALI NYAMA - 19860910 Kershaw Session BBC

BBC 1986.Sep.10 Kershaw Session - bc.1986.Oct.02 BBC Radio 1 Andy Kershaw
tracklist: 1.Jali Nyama Suso* / 2.Lucy* [edit] / 3.Kuruntu Kelefa* / 4.Sunkariba*

rpt.of above session 2019.Jul.29, BBC 6music Gideon Coe
tracklist: 2.Lucy* / 3.Kuruntu Kelefa*

And I have a bonus again: The Kora Trail a 1998 BBC Radio special with Lucy Duran telling about her adventures in Gambia, Senegal and Mali. After she fell in love with the music of the Kora, she wanted to learn to play the Kora herself and stayed in a small village on the Gambia river.
The audio is from a real audio, which I some years ago succeeded to downstream, after having discovered the original link through The audio has some glitches, but don't let that hinder you listening to Lucy's great story.
All further background info about this program I have found is included in the download.

More about and with the Kora

  • Making the Kora - Documentary [1970, enbedded video from vimeo; 14:06] -
  • Kasse Mady & the African Classical Music Ensemble feat.Tunde Jegede on Kora - live filmed on the banks of the Niger in Mali - vimeo
  • Towards a Notation and Tablature for the Kora and its Application to Other Instruments - 1971.Jul.07, article by Roderick Knight, published in African Music Vol.5 No.1 (1971)
  • The Making of a Kora - re-edited film by Anthony King shot 1970 in Gambia - vimeo
  • Jali Nyama Muso - Kora Music from Gambia - bandcamp
    listen to tracknr.1: Jula Dekaray
  • VA - African Journey - A Search for the Roots of the Blues Vol.1 [LP, 1974, Sonet #SNTP.666]
    posted at music-republic-world-traditional - recordings made by Samuel Charters with 2 tracks by Jali Nyama Suso


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Various Zimbabwe - Mbira K7s

Sekuru Thomas Wadharwa Gora
plays mbira [from

K7s are important for the African market: they are easy to duplicate and play. Musically they're interesting because often less concessions are made to Western taste and pop influences. The mbira is a lamellophone, a thumb piano. Traditionally, mbira music was played by, among others, the Shona people in long nocturnal sessions, the bira, in which people get into a trance and thus come into contact with the ancestors, who are close to the gods. Healing properties are also attributed to mbira music. Nowadays mbira music is also played at parties etc.
K7s included "Shumba" by Sekuru Gora [1996] and "Madzinzinzi" by Mazai Mbira Group [1986].

Sekuru "Grandfather" Gora

Sekuru ("Grandfather") Gora, born Thomas Wadharwa in 1937 and died 2002 March 10, was one of the most famous mbira players of all time. If you go to any corner of Zimbabwe and mention mbira, without fail Sekuru Gora’s name will come up. As a child, Gora would constantly watch his grandfathers building and playing the mbira. When he was fourteen he picked up an mbira for the first time and, to everyone’s amazement, was already able to play. Even at that early age he was called on to play at the mapira ceremony, where a homwe (spirit medium) becomes possessed by an ancestral spirit with the help of the mbira music. These ancestral spirits guide and protect their living descendants. Gora was a master at conveying a message in extremely witty and sometimes biting ways.

Mazai Mbira Group

Although not so popular in Zimbabwe, Mazai Mbira Group is one of the most versatile mbira group in Zimbabwe, with their unique intepretation of popular arrangements in the mbira repertoire.

Listen to Shumba by Sekuru Gora

VA ZIMBABWE K7s - Mbira Music [CZ]

recorded from ConcertZender in 2006.Nov.25, tracklist:

  • Sekuru Gora: 1.Chipembere / 2.Kuzanga / 3.Bukatiende / 4.Shumba / 5.Chipindura / 6.Nhema Musasa
  • Mazai Mbira Group: 11.Tibayane / 12.Vavarira / 13.Bangiza

MultiMedia [some]:

  • short video with Sekuru "Grandfather" Gora - vimeo 
  • book: The Art of Mbira - Musical Inheritance and Legacy [2020, by Paul F. Berliner]
  • Mbira Singles Collection posted in 2009 at wrldsrv

Discographies [probably far from complete]

Sekuru "Grandfather" Gora
1983: Ephat Mujuru & Spirit of the People - Mbavaira [LP/K7] - featuring Thomas Wadharwa Gora on vocals and lead mbira
1987: Ephat Mujuru & Spirit of the People - Mutimukuru [LP/K7] - vocals by Gora Thomas Wadharwa
COMP: Ephat Mujuru Mbira Ensemble 1980 - Mavembe (Gandanga) Tuning - at
1991: Thomas ‘Sekuru Gora’ Wadharwa & Tute Chigamba / Tute & Henry Chigamba - Gandanga/Mavembe Tuning [Mbira] - at
1996: Shumba [1996, K7, Zimbabwe #RTLP.164] - played tracks are from this K7
2001: Sekuru Gora with Chigamba and Moyo - Vakuru Chaivo [CD] - at
COMP: Mavembe/Gandanga Tuning Collection #3 - at

Mazai Mbira Group

1985: Chapunga [LP, Zimbabwe #ZML.1023]
1986: Madzinzinzi [LP/K7, Zimbabwe #ZML.1029] - at hollandtunneldive
1988: Nyamaropa Nhimutimu [1988, LP, Zimbabwe ?#ZML.1036] - at zambuko
COMP: Mazai Mbira Group - Mavembe/Gandanga Tuning Collection #2 [download] - at
2009: Mazai Mbira Group 2009 - Gandanga/Mavembe Tuning Mbira [CD/download] - at


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Saturday 2 January 2021

Various Senegal from K7s (2008)

Jus de Mangue 100% Naturel 100% Sénégal

In the series of K7s radioshows, this time K7s from Senegal broadcasted in 2008 by the ConcertZender.

From the program info: "a stack of cassettes with artists from Senegal who play in the Mbalax style: Kiné Lam, Ives Niang, Abdou Guité Seck, Assane Gaye, Titi, Fallou Dieng and Mbaye Dieye Faye.
Mbalax developed in Senegal in the late 1960s and is a mix between modern Western and popular African influences, such as Soukous (Congo) and Coupé-Décalé (Ivory Coast), and traditional Senegalese music, with spicy sabar percussion. All sing in their native language Wolof."

Various SENEGAL K7s - 2008 CZ

Full Tracklist

1.Kiné Lam - Celibataire (1990, K7, Balla Aïssa Boury) - full K7 at ndiakhass (more Kiné Lam there!)
   started in 1972 with traditional group, did theatre for some years, and is still going strong as one of the most famous female voices of Senegal
   more info at musiques-afrique - in total twelfe K7s-CDs listed at natari
   another K7, Sunu Thiossane 2, 2011.Apr posted at awesometapes (later also at ndiakhass)

2.Ives Niang - Fatoumata (from his 2nd K7)
   young singer [in 2008]

3.Abdou Guité Seck - Nina (2006, live K7, Ete Show) - musiques-afrique
   played in the band Wock, later started a solo carreer
   more through at / disco at (K7 not mentioned)

4.Assane Gaye - Nguem (2005, Ngeum) - afromix / youtube (2012.Apr.09 by CherieLaminSaho)
5.Assane Gaye - Teylou Len (2005, Ngeum)
   Assane Gaye alias Thione [Seck] 2 is one of the best Senegalese singer from his generation. Since 2013 he's living in and playing his music from Finland.

6.Titi - Yeena Aaye (K7, Amul Nu Malene Beguewoul) - youtube (2016.Jun.26 by Falilou Ndiaye)
   around 2008 one the most popular female singers in Senegal

7.Fallou Dieng - Beuge Tekki (200x, K7, Feuk Dieuf) - afromix / many K7s at ndiakhass
8.Fallou Dieng - Bouko Bayi (2002, K7, Bouko Bayi) - this K7 at ndiakhass
   nicknamed 'le Roi de l'Ambiance' because he invented a famous mbalax dance

9.Mbaye Dieye Faye - Rimbi Rimbi (K7, Rimbi Rimbi) - youtube (2016.Aug.21 by Falilou Ndiaye)
   percussionist in the "Super Etoile" band, made several solo K7s


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Thursday 31 December 2020

Mamar Kassey - 2013.Dec.11 KIT Dusseldorf FHE

Mamar Kassey in 2013 [picture from]


The name Mamar Kassey belongs to the history of the Songhay people whose empire was extended from Walata (Moroco) to Dendi (Dahomey-nowadays called Benin). Mamar Kassey is the most famous of those people's ancestors who decided, to avoid fratricidal conflicts, to exile all along the Niger river and establish themselves in the areas of Kolmane, Yatakala, Wanzarbé, Tillabéry, Gotheye, Téra, Gaya and as far as Kandi in Benin.
Original band Mamar Kassey was created 1995 November 22 by two men: Yacouba Moumouni and Abdallah Al Hassane who are musicians trained by the "Centre de Formation et de Promotion Musicale de Niamey (CFPN Elhadj Taya)".
Yacouba Moumouni, more known under the nickname of "Denke Denke", nowadays is considered to be the most popular artist in Niger. Mamar Kassey is widely appreciated in all Western Africa. Tradition is not a limitation for Mamar Kassey's music but the dynamic element giving it all a sense and taste.
The essence of tradition flows into the band's compositions, free from any rigid codes, thanks to its open minded view of the music and respect of oral traditional singing. It propagates at the speed of light through the calabash's tempo and the "kalangou" drum. It unites in a subtle game of contrasts, the melodic lines of the rhythm guitar and of the little luth "Komsa". It talks through the singing and the "Seysé" flute which bounces as a tightrope on the lines of a bass under high voltage.
Mamar Kassey plays brilliantly and with professionalism well-executed arrangements supporting Yacouba's beautiful and powerful voice, full of sensuality and warmth with an authentic Nigerian identity strongly affirmed by a subtle play, performed by the traditional lutes "Komsa" and "Molo" and an armpit drum (Kalangou).
The beauty of dancers gestures is in perfect harmony with the rhythmic and melodic nuances of well-executed music. Mamar Kassey's music is a lot more than an addition of talents. It is the expression of a mutating culture, the link between the secret words of an art reserved to the "hogon" masters, God, fetishes and the universal language of the new millennium.
The band is not a mere coincidence but the accomplishment of combined efforts of men and women convinced by the necessity to give Nigeria its voice into the concert of world's music.
source: [disappeared, not archived]

Listen to the 1.Lelly Yoro [live]

MAMAR KASSEY - 20131211 Dusseldorf FHE

Mamar Kassey - rec.2013.Dec.11 Dusseldorf - bc.2013.12.13 Funkhaus Europa 23h "World Live" 

setlist unknown, recording split-up in:
1.concert pt.1 / interview / 2.concert pt.2 / 3.encore

update - found the setlist through
1.Lelly Yoro / --interview-- / 2.Mali (Djinnaarou) / 3.Daneedjo / 4.Taboussizé / 5.Mansaarou / 6.Hadoré / 7.Yeti - Yeta / 8.Habdè / 9.La Famille / 10.Dinké-Dinké / --encore-- / 11.Maidé e Gonga / 12.Mossi-Gueidou

probable line-up: Yacouba Moumouni - vocals, Peul flute, dance / Harouna "Harou" Abdou - bass, choir / Boubacar "Barry" Souleymane - calebas, vocals, choir / Abdramane Albarka - electric guitar / Adamou Daouda - kalangou (talking drums) / Seyni Halidou - molo, komsa (2/3 stringed lutes) / Fatoumata Amadou - vocals, choir, dance / Catherine Onadja - choir, dance

Related MultiMedia:

  • Mamar Kassey in 2014.Jan at VPRO Vrije Geluiden: Daneedjo / Mali [on youtube]
  • Mamar Kassey 2013 promo video by Studio le Rocher - vimeo

as Mamar Kassey are from Niger, they may be aware of:

"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)