Sunday February 23, 8:00
Small World Music Centre
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St.
Tickets: $20 @ www.smallworldmusic.com
presented in association with Batuki Music
Eric LONGSWORTH (Electric cello – USA)
Chérif SOUMANO (Kora – Mali)
Jean-Luc DI FRAYA (voice & percussion – France)
A musical meeting between cellist Eric Longsworth, kora player Chérif Soumano and singer-percussionist Jean Luc Di Fraya, the World Kora Trio take a most creative polycultural approach to their art. Moved by a common desire for discovery and musical give-and-take, these three master performers from different backgrounds forge a single musical sensibility to create a moving music, gliding between tradition and modernity.
Eric Longsworth, an American cellist living in France, and Chérif Soumano, kora player from Bamako, met at the “Rochefort en Accords” Festival in 2010. Festival director Philippe Thieyre suggested that they open the 6th edition of the festival with a cello/kora duo. The two musicians immediately hit it off. Cherif’s playing is strongly influenced by traditional music from Mali, in which the kora is historically a key instrument. At the same time, he has spent years playing rock, reggae and jazz, where he found an expression for his openness to other musical cultures, and a wonderful outlet for his abilities as an improviser. Eric is one of those difficult-to-classify artists, who shapes unforgettable melodies with his electric cello. Influenced by his American roots, he plays music like a story-teller weaving a tale. Equally at home within and outside the large family of jazz, Eric enjoys exploring the emotion inherent in the music.
The colors of African music embodied by the kora resonate with the original jazz and folk compositions of the cellist. The percussionist, with his compelling voice, impels the trio towards wide open spaces – world wide. Far from “conceptual”, their dialogue is playful, dynamic, and effervescent, illustrating beyond doubt that music is a universal language that defies borders.