Kronos Quartet Trio Da Kali

February 22, 2014
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Kronos Quartet is known for eclectic musical interests that lead them to create rich and unexpected concert experiences — and that often lead them to collaborations with artists from around the globe.

This season, in partnership with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the Aga Khan Music Initiative, Kronos will join in concert with famed Malian vocalist Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté and instrumentalists Fodé Lassama Diabaté and Mamadou Kouyaté, in the trio’s first visit to the United States.

Trio Da Kali consists of three musicians from the Mande culture of Mali, who come from a long line of distinguished griots (specialist hereditary musical artisans). Long-term collaborators, the artists aim to bring to the forefront neglected repertoires and performance styles of the griots, celebrating the African continent’s finest, most subtle and sublime music. In doing so, they bring a fresh, contemporary, creative twist to their musical art, breathing new life back into this ancient music.

Trio Da Kali presents a performance that revolves around the soaring, rounded vibrato voice of Hawa Kassé Mady, who performs the songs she grew up with in Kela, one of the most musical centers of the griot world. The program includes dazzling solo balafon pieces by the group’s leader Lassama Diabaté on the 22-key balafon. Few can match his lyricism and virtuosity, and the resonant sound of the rosewood keys of his balafon. Mamadou Kouyaté underpins the music with punchy bass lines on a large ngoni, West Africa’s oldest string instrument.