Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure
Bio from Myspace:
Abdoulaye Alhassane is a brilliant multi-instrumentalist, composer,
arranger and producer from Niger and Mali. His principle instrument is
guitar, and he sings and plays Molo, Gurmi and a number of other Central
Saharan string instruments. He was musical director, composer and lead
guitarist for the wonderful Niger roots band, Mamar Kassey, that toured
internationally to rave reviews. Mr. Alhassane also launched the careers
of Moussa Poussy and many other singers from Niger, for whom he
composed and arranged all of the music. Of the same tradition as his
mentor, Ali Farka Toure, Abdoulaye Alhassane is a master of the music of
many Saharan cultures and languages: Songhai, Sonrai, Tamaschek, Peul,
Toureg, Zerma, Hausa and others. His original music is rich in complex
rhythms, beautiful blue modes, and full of joyous enthusiasm."
Women on Stilts. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2012 v5n2 p0801
New York is very good at making us all know that we are very, very small, and that we all are here for a time that is so short that it is not recognized in time measures for space or turtles or hardwood trees.
I walked through Greenwich Village to listen to Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure and his band play beautiful music, and the first thing I saw was the Washington Arch, pictured at right. Under and around the arch were young women in flowing pants and colorful shirts, whose heights had been elongated by stilts. Next to other young women, they were twice as tall, but when I photographed them next to the arch, from inside and outside the park, they looked like ants.
When I was enjoying the concert I saw them walk past, out of the park. They did not stop to listen to the music, or to dance.
Let's get this right out there. I adore Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure.
This gentleman from West Africa plays a guitar, sings, dances like the angels are moving every part of his body.
He and the 8 members of the Deep Sahara Band started at 8pm, and then suddenly, after 4 songs stopped, and said they would be back after a break. This morning I remembered that of course, we are in Ramadan and he and some of his band had not eaten since sunrise.
When they came back, dark had descended on Washington Square Park and New York, and the music only got better. You can hear some of his music on this page.
This morning I downloaded my pictures and looked for the best ones, and tried to find videos and information about this singer who came to the attention of the Washington Square Park Festival, who sponsored him and his band and his perfect sound system. I found him on Facebook, and sent a friend request. Within the hour he responded, thanking me for asking to be his friend. Ah!
News from Mali click here. News from Niger click here.