“You can’t know where you’re headin’ to if you don’t know where you come from”
Jalikunda is a home for all jali, gewel, and griots to promote and support the Manding performing arts of West Africans in New York City. Griots are musical historians and instrumental virtuosos who have played a key role in ceremonial, political and social life as entertainers, educators, and conflict mitigators in West Africa for centuries. As an extended family, ensemble, community, and organization, Jalikunda does educational programming within and beyond the West African Community, research documentation on West African performing arts, and promotion of West African artists among American audiences.
Funded by the New York State Council of the Arts’ Restart New York initiative, this event is the first in a six-part series to promote Jalikunda’s members and activities, with other events–each featuring different members of Jalikunda–taking place at community centers, plazas, parks, and concert halls across NYC.
This first event, accordingly, will feature three members of Jalikunda in a 45 minute concert. The pieces will consist of traditional oral narratives, epics, or songs from the griot repertoire. Instrumentation will consist of the kora (a harp-like instrument with a gourd resonator), percussion instruments, and vocals.