Video Views 2013

  Musicman 1



Jaliba Kuyateh                                                                                    

"Put all of this in the world music melting pot and what have you got?  .....................................What you have got is Jaliba  Kuyateh....................He plays modally! ................He plays with passion and great strength! ................ and he writes a modern music that embraces tradition, and yet moves me in a way that only Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane have ever done! I will qualify that........ Jaliba has that slow burning....... smoking ........quality of the massively talented saxophonist Ben Webster."  

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There is a tide in the affairs of man!...............

Within a matter of weeks of arriving in West Africa in January 2005,  I was fortunate...........indeed  supremely lucky be  introduced to Jaliba Kuyateh, and have the distinct feeling that lightening had struck twice!  And from that day on it has just got better and better. Generous to a fault with his time, we spoke at great length about our own understanding of the inner experience that is music. It was from these conversations that I realised that I was staring world history in the face. In one moment in time, Jazz and Jahass became as Adama and Awa, the twin forces that have evolved into what is now known as World Music! Jaliba is not from a traditional Griot family. A qualified Mathematics teacher, he decided to become a performer and writer in his early 20s.  His first discipline gives him great insight and the ability to discuss Philosophy and Formal Logic at will. He formed the Kumera Band and began his career as a composer and exponent of West African music. 30 years later, he has travelled  around the world and produced an astonishing catalogue of  creative work. Unbeknown to him, this mirrors exactly the life of many of the great American Jazz players who have borrowed so heavily from West African traditional musical forms. There are many links that could be recommended but I suggest you enter the name of this wonderful man into Google and discover his talent for yourselves. 

And to first hear the Wollof  word   "Jahass" ...and see faces keen to perceive any hint of recognition on my part.........was one of those life defining moments that engage you in a truly profound way.............!  After the penny had dropped to speak...... I remember tiptoeing through at least one of our meetings as if I was terrified that the realisation gleaned from our discussion would evaporate!  Even now I am overwhelmed that there is such everyday ordinariness and humility about people who, by juxtaposing two realities, become the rightful heirs to the mantle ..."Spiritual Home of World Music"

Jaliba's generosity of spirit is something that I will feel inspired by for this lifetime and beyond. It has certainly become imperative that we harness the full range of talent that is alive in Brikama and give back to the children everything that this amazing musician has studied and learned for over 30 years.

In partnership with.....and  with thanks to ....Kerewan Sounds... Banjul... The Gambia........ we are beginning a catalogue of Jaliba Kuyateh's work. He has generously accepted the same terms as all of the other Artists at City Walls Music Publishing. Our pledge to meet that generosity by building a Music Conservatoire in Brikama has finally been met. This will accommodate the needs of future generations! What ever Youssou N'Dour has helped achieve in Dakar in Senegal has become a model for Gambian Musicians to now work for.

Jaliba has been in England.........Birmingham to be exact............for some programs.........put on your dancing shoes........get out your best dress. The Gambian community will show you how we do things out here in West Africa............Dance...Dance...Dance..........if you can feel it up with this are well on the way to Enlightenment..............if it does not move you in ways that you never knew about ......I suggest that you see a psychiatrist..........or look in the mirror..........!

Jaliba Kuyateh has turned the Kora music of Gambia into an international sound. Together with his group, the Kumareh Band, Kuyateh continues to unite the ancient and modern worlds with his exciting, uplifting performances. The son of a kora player, Kuyateh began playing the 21-stringed instrument at the age of five. Although he showed talent on the instrument, he stopped playing after two years to focus on his schoolwork. He didn't pick it up again until 1977, when he was attending the Gambia Teachers Training College. Two years later, he joined with fellow students to form Jaliba Although he studied other traditional instruments during a school break in 1986, music remained a hobby. While he continued to play with his band, Kuyateh began working with the ministry of education, youth, sports, and culture following his graduation in 1991. Kuyateh's love of music proved irresistible. Within a year, he voluntarily retired from his government job and turned his full-time attention to music. With only two members of his band agreeing to continue working with him, Kuyateh formed the group as the Kumarah Band.The group's success came quickly. In addition to touring France and Spain, Kuyateh & the Kumareh Band released their debut album, Radio Kantang, in 1993. The album sold more than 15,000 copies.

Two albums, Dajukah and Tissoli, followed in 1994. Following the release of their fourth album, Hera Banku, in 1995, Kuyateh & the Kumareh Band toured the United States, recording a live album, Live in America. Gambia Third Day followed in 1996 and Njai Kunda in 1998. Fan Kanta, released in 1999, included the band's hit singles and new material.
Most recentley he has toured Europe and The U.S.A and played out absolute monster gigs at The Band on the Wall in Manchester and The Picket in Liverpool UK.


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