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World Music Institute Presents Mike Block and Balla Kouyaté Ensemble

The performances is set for October 15.

World Music Institute Presents Mike Block and Balla Kouyaté Ensemble On Friday, October 15th, at Kaufman Music Center, Mike Block and Balla Kouyaté will perform.

Doors: 7:30PM | Show: 8PM
Kaufman Music Center 129 W 67th St Manhattan
Tickets: $30 | $45

Mike Block and Balla Kouyaté have been collaborating for over a decade, bonding over their shared interest in music from across the world, and their commitment to musical innovation. Mike Block is an American cellist, singer, and composer, and a Grammy Award-winning musician with Yo-Yo Ma's Silkroad Ensemble, originally trained in western classical music.

He teams here with Balla Kouyaté, a Malian balafon player and educator now based in the U.S. Kouyaté is one of the living masters and ambassadors of his instrument, having played on over 25 albums, and collaborated with such artists as Mamadou Diabaté and Yo-Yo Ma. The balafon -a wooden xylophone with gourd resonators, often played alongside the kora - is central to the djeli tradition that can be traced back to the medieval Malian Empire that once stretched across much of West Africa. Djelis (also known as griots), are a traditional caste of musicians, singers, and storytellers, that preserve both the music and the history of the Mandinka people; and the Kouyaté family is one of the oldest and most prestigious. To this day, the first balafon, over 1,000 years old, remains in the Kouyaté family, and Balla can trace his lineage back over 800 years in an unbroken line of Kouyaté djelis. Together, Block and Kouyaté limn the sonic possibilities of the combination of these two very different yet complementary instruments.

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