Youssoupha Sidibe - West African Kora Music
Join us for a magical evening of West African Kora Music and Sufi Mantra Wisdom by Youssoupha Sidibe at the United Methodist Church in Ashland, Oregon on the night of Friday, November 4th."Youssoupha is great. I have performed with him many times ~
almost always without any rehearsal or even speaking much ~
and we find ourselves on stage together
sharing very deep and moving musical improvisations.
His melodies are beautiful, his rhythm is engaging,
and he is a spiritual man transmitting roots music.
I am a fan of Youssoupha and his music."
~ Matisyahu ~
Multi-Platinum Selling, Grammy Nominated Musician
Youssoupha Sidibe is a Senegalese West African Kora (African Harp) player. Throw out all your ideas of what a harpist is. For starters, the kora looks nothing like a western harp, with an appearance similar at first glance to an East Indian sitar. (Take a look at the event poster for a photo.) The sound of the African harp is enchanting and provides a beautiful melodic accompaniment for his joyous and uplifting lyrics. In addition, Youssoupha has broken out of traditional Kora styles many hundreds of years old which are still predominant with Kora players, blending in aspects of reggae, and western music to create his own signature style. Having shared his music at countless performances in the US and internationally, over the course of 25 years, as well as collaborating with many well known musicians of varied genres, Youssoupha has garnered a large and enthusiastic global fanbase.
Youssoupha’s musical career began over twenty five years ago in his home of Senegal, West Africa. He studied at the National Music Conservatory of Senegal, where he developed his virtuosity as a Kora player. His music fuses traditional West African sounds of the Kora with the Sufi devotional chanting of the Senegalese Baay Faal community. The angelic sounds of the Kora, an indigenous harp, soulfully carry Youssoupha’s devotional lyrics sung in Wolof, Arabic, French and English. The music of Youssoupha Sidibe is deeply infused with a longing for the full realization of divine love in this world.
Youssoupha’s music provides an entertaining and inspirational cultural experience. Celebrating and exploring the vitality of African culture, it appeals to audiences on many levels. He is a Baay Faal Sufi and his music is an expression of his roots. He brings the spirit of Senegal with him wherever he goes. Youssoupha’s music has served to invoke the divine through Sufi sound in the presence of many large and diverse groups of people.
The evening will include Sufi Kirtan, Youssoupha’s special blend of call and response chanting from the Sufi tradition and a rich musical tapestry woven by a true master of his craft. Sing along with the Sufi chants or simply listen and enjoy the beautiful sounds of the Kora.
Since his arrival on the international music circuit, Youssoupha has recorded, performed, and/or collaborated with many exceptional musicians. He was Grammy nominated for his collaboration with Matisyahu on multiple tracks, including a duet he wrote with Matisyahu on "Youth," the 2007 Grammy-nominated "Best Reggae Album," which became a gold album. He has released albums with Charles Neville ("Tree of Life"), Steve Kimock (TBA), a duet with Michael Franti ("What I Be"), and collaborated live with India Arie, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Michael Kang of String Cheese Incident, Chris Berry Trio, Shimshai, and many others. The newly released Youssoupha Sidibe and Midnite’s "For All" is the first ever, full album collaboration of African and Caribbean Reggae. His performances are an amazing musical experience, unlike any other.
Youssoupha has performed, recorded, and lead healing music workshops throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. He has graced the stages of many notable venues such as The Hammerstein Ballroom NYC, Manhattan Center, Earthdance World Peace Festival, The Warfield Theatre, The African Festival of the Arts Chicago, Reggae on the River, Reggae Rising, Stanford University, Salmon Arm Roots, Blues British Columbia, Inlakesh, Mystic Garden Party, and many more. His music is inspiring and empowering for people of all ages. The sound of the Kora beautifully blends with the powerful human emotion and faith that Youssoupha Sidibe embodies. His sacred sound brings a new dimension to the celebration of the human experience.
conjuring deep memories of spirits past and present.
Youssoupha Sidibe is the genuine article
as the tradition still lives and breathes
even after thousands of years.
All praises due to the master musician who plays us all."
~ Muata Kenyata ~
Director of Performing Arts and Lectures,
San Francisco State University
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