Ethnolyrical

making music, writing culture

Recent Articles
Dance Party: The Music of Movement

Dance Party: The Music of Movement

This photo essay documents the transformation of a Dakar city street into a spectacle of fashion and dance and a soundscape of traditional drums. On April 4th, 2010, Dancer Maman Diallo celebrated the anniversary of Senegalese national independence with a traditional women's drum and dance party (called a sabar) in her neighborhood of Medina, Dakar.
Tassou: the Ancient Spoken Word of African Women

Tassou: the Ancient Spoken Word of Afric...

Woman Poet Yandé Codou Sene Sings Senegalese Independence, African Creativity: While the work of West African strumming male praise-singers or griots/jalis, has been studied by Western researchers from the earliest years of folklore and ethnology, the region continues to be animated by the rich voices of praise-singing women, whose poetry and song draw from detailed knowledge of the lineages pf neighboring families, a talent for improvisation on ancient songs, themes and rhythms, and an ability to bring a crowd into chanting and dancing communion in the space of a few poetic bars.
Bamako, Mali: Sounding Griots, Global Aesthetics

Bamako, Mali: Sounding Griots, Global Ae...

Featured tonight is Symmetric Orchestra, a multifaceted project by Mandé jéli Toumani Diabaté that encompasses a series of West African and Diasporic musical styles, from club, Cuban-influenced pop, Soukous, and Big Easy blues (with a visiting American singer). The shifting dance circle manifests a rich interaction between multiethnic West African griots,musicians and dancers and a far-reaching international crowd.
Blues People, Mississippi Hip-Hop : A Book Excerpt

Blues People, Mississippi Hip-Hop : A Bo...

Today, from the corners of the New World district, a new Mississippi Delta blues is rising, one created by and for young people. On Saturday night, old Chevys with big rims bump beats from their trunks as young people gather on street corners, in clubs, and behind the barbeque stand to socialize. Here, members of the current generation of Delta music makers meet and rap. The most accomplished rappers perform longer pieces that deal with their history, neighborhoods, current company, and the possibilities of the night at hand. They are experts at keeping the rhythm.
View My New Short Documentary on Sufi Praise Song

View My New Short Documentary on Sufi Pr...

Reverberation1 is one of four short documentaries emerging from my fieldwork with women musical artists hère in Dakar, Senegal. Binta Sarr Diop, the woman singer featured in this film, is one of the women I’ve been working closely with over the last two years in Senegal.
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