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  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:46 pm on March 15, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 718-658-7400, classical guitarist, Don Witter, Empress, Haitian Roots Music, , Jaili Kandjia Cissoko, Jamaica, Jamaica Center, Jamaica Center for Art & Learning, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, Jr., Kora, , Luellen Abdoo, Manze Dayila, Metro, , , the Underground, , violinist   

    Public Service Announcement: Metro’s Best Concert Series 

    A kind reader alerted me to Metro’s Best series of concerts at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning:

    METRO’S BEST
    Saturday afternoons at 3pm
    The “Metro’s Best” series features some of the finest musical performers discovered under the city of New York. All performers in our series are professional musicians who were sanctioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to give New Yorkers a bit of respite during their travels and perform in the subways. Ranging from classical and jazz to world music, these musicians breathe life into New York and radiate its diversity. After fighting our way through the enthralled crowds, we invited them to perform in the Jamaica Center for Art & Learning theatre. “Metro’s Best” is an enchanting series of discovery as musicians of the Underground come to the surface in Jamaica, Queens. Admission: $5. For more information call 718-658-7400.

    Featured Artists include:
    Don Witter, Jr., classical guitarist
    Luellen Abdoo, violinist
    Jaili Kandjia Cissoko, Kora player
    Manze Dayila, Empress of Haitian Roots Music

    Of particular interest is Jaili Kandjia Cissoko. I wrote about him here and here.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 2:59 am on February 22, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cissoko, , Kora, Kora Music, , , NYC Subway's Times Square station, Soloist Composer, , ,   

    Kora Music In The Land Of The Stainless Steel Worm 

    Jaili Kandjia Cissoko, African Criot (Bard), Kora Player, Soloist Composer in NYC Subway’s Times Square station.

    This is an illustration to my earlier article about Cora music. As Mr. Cissoko unfortunately doen’st have any cds of his own, your best bet of experiencing Cora music is either to seek him out in the subway or listening to one of these cds:

    Djelika is my favorite, I absolutely love the title song that is based on the melody from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 10:03 am on March 10, 2003 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , black musician, Charlie Parker, , Curiouser, , Griot, , historian and story teller, , Kora, , Lankandia Cissoko, , music producing device, musician, , ,   

    Music to My Ears 

    I would like to note, that I am not one of those people, who say “I can’t live without my music”. You know, the kind that never go anywhere without a walkman or a music producing device of some kind. I would give up music rather than literature or visual arts. I absolutely hate dance, but that’s another story.

    My musical tastes followed a rather strange path. As a kid, I didn’t have much preference for music. I tried to get into classical music, but it seemed either boring or cartoony to me. Then, came the Beatlemania period. I really, really liked the Beatles. For me Beatlemania happened in the late eighties / early nineties. I still have an email address that reflects that.

    Having listened to all the Beatles albums it was the time for me to find something new. I tried classical music again, got bored and got into jazz instead. Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk and the like replaced the fab 4 for me. I can’t get into blues too much though. Too depressing.

    I started exploring a little further. Unexpectedly I liked bluegrass. Bluegrass is a type of country music that sound more like jazz. The Carter Family and Doc Watson became my new favorites.

    Now my tastes are getting curiouser and curiouser. I noticed a black musician who plays an exotic instrument sometimes in the subway. He never failed to get a dollar or two from me. I did a little bit of research, and turned out that the West African instrument that he plays is called a Kora.

    (picture taken from http://www.kora-music.com/ )

    And the musician is in fact a Griot, a master historian and story teller. I bought some Kora music cds from Amazon, but that only made me realize that the guy in the subway was a Griot and Kora player of a highest caliber. Maybe the gleaming columns of the 34th street station added to my enjoyment for jazzy and modern, yet so ancient sounds of the Kora.

    Unfortunately this Kora player didn’t have a cd, but he did have a little business card (a printed piece of paper in fact) that said that his name is Lankandia Cissoko and gave a phone number for his agent. You know, how come those crappy new agey idiots that play in Times Square have a cd, and this guy doesn’t? Totally unfair.

    I always held electronic music in contempt. makes me think about giving that a try. I am thinking about exploring Theremin music first.

     
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