Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

More

Bela Fleck Brings Africa to Penn State

While a good deal of the concert-going student body was moshing to Flogging Molly last night, a very different kind of show was going on “across the pond” (or across Shortlidge at the Eisenhower Auditorium). Bela Fleck, banjo wizard supreme, presented “The Africa Project”, a musical collaboration between him and musicians he found when traveling to Africa to learn about the history of the banjo.

The evening featured a thumb piano and acoustic guitar duo (Anania Ngoliga and John Kitime, respectively) from Tanzania that made excellent use of vocal harmony, and a seven-piece group from Mali called Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba. This septet included a powerful female singer, two percussionists, and four players of the ngoni, a West African instrument that greatly influenced the banjo. Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba especially impressed me, showing remarkable range with instrumentation that’s unique to a westerner such as myself.

The highlight of the performance was definitely the final act, in which all of the night’s collaborators got on stage together and played a few solid tunes to close the evening, showcasing everyone’s virtuosity. Fleck, of course, tore it up on the banjo, and the now-11-piece group was a musical powerhouse. I left with only two disappointments: first, some of the songs went on for a bit too long, and second, Victor Wooten, the greatest living bassist and member of Bela Fleck’s Flecktones, did not make an appearance. But who am I to complain?

Overall a great night for concerts, whether you’re into Irish punk or bluegrassy World music.

[Pic]

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Evan Kalikow

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.

Follow on Another Platform
113kFollowers
157kFollowers
55.7kFollowers
4,570Subscribers
State College Links
Other posts by Evan

The Importance of Beards: Why Harry S Truman Should Have Been Hairy S Truman

Co-Founder Evan Kalikow outlines the importance of beard’s in today’s society and the problems that have arisen in America’s foreign policy efforts because of clean-shaven authority figures.

Evan’s Senior Column: Let’s Get Weird

10 Questions With Ludacris [VIDEO]

Ask A Mom: State College Moms Spread Kindness On Campus With Free Advice Stand

Providing insight and gifting understanding, Sue Jackson and Lori Rose are bringing home a bit closer to campus.

Ask A Mom: State College Moms Spread Kindness On Campus With Free Advice Stand

Providing insight and gifting understanding, Sue Jackson and Lori Rose are bringing home a bit closer to campus.

Alum Shows Love For Penn State Football Through New Country Rock Song

Michael Botte decided to combine his refound passion for music and his love for Penn State football in a new country rock release.

Gameday Observations: Northwestern

From the rainy conditions to beer sales in Beaver Stadium, it was a chaotic Saturday in State College.

 
Send this to a friend