Peul’s Boutique

The Peuls are group of historically pastoral people stretching from the Senegal to Cameroon. But the Pulaar culture in Mauritanian is distinctly that of the Senegalese River that defines the border between the two countries. The music of "le fleuve" has been commercially popularized by Baba Maal, and he has…

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a history of hip hop

It's late night, and the crackling radio is broadcasting a Wolof griot.griotNext, an excerpt from an interview I conducted with a young rapper from Cinquieme. He talks about the obstacles to music, government suppression, lack of resources and financial support for the arts. Following, is an A Capella rap in…

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that old hassaniya sound

One of the premiere music venues in a country that otherwise does little to support the arts is the French Cultural Center(CCF). Aristocrats and expats mingle (is there any difference?) in a distinctively non-Mauritanian ambiance. Noura Mint Seymaly plays a set of "modern" Hassaniya music.Noura Mint Seymaly - modernNoura Mint…

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nouakchott pt. 2

First recording, from a BOB (Brothers of Blood) concert. B.O.B. is a Mauritania hip hop group that now lives in France. They arrived to a screaming crowd at this homecoming gig. B.O.B. Concert Ibrahim Boucoum, Malian guitarist in Sekou's studio does a bit of "griot" improvisation, a "freestyle" (in french).…

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live from nouakchott

A recording from a practice session of an upcoming concert here in Nouakchott. I'm playing some sparse guitar accompaniment with two musicians from Senegal, Sidi Baba and Khadim, who sing and play the Djembe respectively. hayoOmar's shop in Cinquieme, the kids are playing some game, singing a song.kidsSalif plays a…

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nouakchott pt. 1

A wedding in cinquieme, held under a tent, in one of the numerous sand courtyards in the neighborhood. You can't not be a spectator. There is an electric guitar and a dozen hand drums, as well as a griot singer. soninke weddingLater that night, the wedding moves indoors. I stand…

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