Trio Da Kali brings West African griot music to The Palms on Thursday, April 26

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Performing as Trio Da Kali are, from left, Mamadou Kouyaté (ngoni), Hawa Kassé Mady (vocals) and Lassana Diabaté (balafon) will bring music from the West African griot tradition to The Palms Playhouse (13 Main St., Winters) on Thursday, April 26. Tickets are $20.

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In West African societies, griots are the keepers of oral tradition. These musicians and poets, who are born to their task through family lineage, are also historians, storytellers, praise singers, satirists and advisors.

Trio Da Kali is a soulful, transcendent musical group from Mali that has breathed new life into traditional West African griot melodies. Their recent collaboration with the rule-breaking chamber music ensemble Kronos Quartet rocketed Trio Da Kali into stardom.

Trio Da Kali will perform at The Palms Playhouse (13 Main Street in Winters) on Thursday, April 26, starting at 8 p.m.

Da Kali means “to give a pledge” – in Trio Da Kali’s case, a pledge to a musical heritage that dates back to the time of Sunjata Keita, founder of the great Mali empire in the early 13th century. The line-up of balafon (xylophone) bass ngoni (lute) and female singer is also based on ancient tradition, although the trio format and its repertoire is now an endangered species in contemporary Malian music.

Trio Da Kali’s members descend from venerable musical families in Mali. With centuries of history and musicianship at their backs, this griot supergroup represents the chamber music of West Africa.

The trio’s performance revolves around the soaring, rounded vibrato voice of Hawa Kassé Mady (daughter of legendary singer Kasse Mady Diabaté), performing the songs she grew up with in Kela, in the heart of the griot world.

Lassana Diabaté is a master balafon player who’s worked with everyone from Taj Mahal to Béla Fleck to the top musicians of Mali. And the young Mamadou Kouyaté — whose father, Bassekou Kouyaté, was nominated for a Grammy — holds down a solid, swinging bass on ngoni.

The Trio Da Kali’s collaboration with the Kronos Quartet produced an album, “Ladilikan,” which has garnered critical praise from all corners of the music world.

The trio’s performances offer a rare glimpse into the soul of the art of the griot, celebrating the African continent’s finest, most subtle and sublime music.

Tickets for Trio Da Kali’s Thursday, April 26 show at The Palms Playhouse are $20 and are available online via The Palms’ website and through Eventbrite as well as at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland and at the door if not sold out.

For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com and triodakali.com.

 

 

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