International Instrumentation

Stay tuned: instrument maker Talton with a restored bass violin

Stay tuned: instrument maker Talton with a restored bass violin. Brenda Neece

Mamadou Diabate was born into a distinguished family of griots—musician-storytellers—in Kita, a Malian city that is a center for the arts and culture of the Manding people of West Africa. At an early age, he learned to play the kora, a traditional stringed instrument made from a gourd, from his father and his cousin, and began to assume the role of a griot. Following a tradition that's been passed along for centuries, he is now teaching his own nine-year-old son.

Diabate, who lives in Durham, is one of several musicians who will take part in a fall-semester lecture series on musical instruments organized by Brenda Neece, curator of the Duke Musical Instrument Collection. The programs will be held once a month, on Fridays at 4:00 p.m. in Perkins Library's Rare Book Room, and will each comprise a performance, lecture, and in-depth question-and-answer session.

Appropriately, Diabate, who is performing November 9, will be joined by his son.

Other fall lecturers include Ioana Sherman, a scholar who will demonstrate and explain the significance of the fluier and caval, two types of flutes common in southern Romania; Bob Talton, an instrument maker from North Carolina who will discuss his crafting of violins, violas, cellos, guitars, dulcimers, and banjos and show instruments in various stages of completion; and William Michal Jr., a banjo expert and collector who will talk about the origins and history of the banjo in the U.S., different playing styles, and the hobby of collecting instruments.




Share your comments

Have an account?

Sign in to comment

No Account?

Email the editor