The Griot Tradition of West Africa

Date

22 Apr 2018, 5:15 PM - 5:45 PM

Genre

World Music

Details

Griots (meaning “blood of the society” in Mandinka language) are West African musicians, praise-singers, historians, storytellers, poets and advisors whose practices originate from 13th century Mali Empire. They are akin to living libraries who perpetuate wisdom and knowledge through the oral tradition. Griots are said to have power in speech, their very words are imbued with a spiritual force that allows their songs to motivate or shame, shaping the reputation of the patron. Not everyone can be a griot, however, as the tradition is passed through specific family lines.

Often called upon for their services in formal ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms and funerals, griots sometimes perform on the kora (21-string plucked instrument) that is capable of producing sounds of deep reflection as well as mellifluous, running melodies. Although modern griots sometimes bring contemporary influences to the music, the centuries-old repertoire is still performed today.

Help us keep this festival free

Esplanade is a charity and not-for-profit organisation, and free programmes such as A Tapestry of Sacred Music are made possible by donation.

You can help keep this festival free by making a contribution at donation boxes placed around the centre, or give online.

Donate now

About N’Faly Kouyaté

Known as the “Jimi Hendrix” of kora, N’Faly Kouyaté is a multi-talented artist who comes from a deeply traditional background. As the son of the famous “Konkoba” Kabinet Kouyaté from Guinea, he was traditionally brought up as a djeli (griot), an ambassador of the Mandingo culture. The Grammy-nominated musician was also a nominated Ambassador of the Intercultural Dialogue and winner of the Guinée Music Award 2012 in Belgium. More details Less details

Discover More Gigs

Let your friends know about this event

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Print Share

Venue

Esplanade Concourse
1 Esplanade Drive
Singapore 038981

Back