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Sound Travels...live with Yaya Kambaye

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soundtravels_logo2250px-locationsenegalsvgHey y'all, today's Sound Travels was live wasn't it? Of course, by live I really mean live as we went all 414 Music on ya' with a live performance from Yaya Kambaye. Yaya was great in the studio, rocked us with live kora music from his homeland Dakar, Senegal, on the Western coast of Africa. FYI, the kora, is built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator, and has a notched bridge like a lute or guitar. The sound of a kora resembles that of a harp, though when played in the traditional style, it bears a closer resemblance to flamenco and delta blues guitar techniques. The player uses only the thumb and index finger of both hands to pluck the strings in polyrhythmic patterns (using the remaining fingers to secure the instrument by holding the hand posts on either side of the strings). Ostinato riffs ("Kumbengo") and improvised solo runs ("Birimintingo") are played at the same time by skilled players.

250px-gambia_kora_havard2And of course Yaya is one of those skilled with the kora. Blessed to be born into a musical family, he's been playing since he was young, first as a tag-along at various functions and parties and later as a musician. Clearly, he has the talent, but if you did not catch the live show today you still have some options to check the proof. Tomorrow night at 7pm, I'll spin the set again though if you are unable to tune in I got it here for you too.

Sound Travels: Live with Yaya Kambaye


Inspiring, dreamy and otherworldly are all adjectives I would use to describe this wonderful work here from Yaya. If you are inspired, you can catch Yaya every Thursday at Club Timbuktu (520 E. Center St. in Riverwest) for an awesome drum circle that starts at 7:45 pm. If you go, you may get a chance to pick up some new dance moves as well as a few tribal grooves as there are some dance lessons taught at the event. Otherwise, stay on the lookout for hhis performances around town, where he operates as the leader of a music and dance group called Xaalat(or think) Africa, which is an experience to witness live.

For more details and contacting Yaya try him at yayakambaye@yahoo.com