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Donkilo! blends traditional instruments like the Fula flute, 10-string kamalen’goni and djembe, with guitar, bass, sax and more — creating a sound that is fresh and daring, with live performances that transport audiences to previously unchartered musical territories.
Since 2013, Donkilo has been a collaboration between some of New England’s most talented and creative musicians, who bring together decades of experience across musical disciplines to create the unique sound that is Donkilo.
The recordings below are original compositions that I created for this project. It was recorded at Squam Sound in Ashland, NH.
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N’goni is short for kamalen’goni, which means “young man’s harp”, and is the instrument playing the groove here. This original composition is a tribute to the mystique and “mojo” of this unique instrument.
Donso means “hunter” in Malinké, and this original tune pays tribute to the powerful and often dark hunters music played at night deep in the forest on the Donso N’goni and bolon — the traditional harps played by the hunters.
N’zérékoré is a town in the forest region of Guinea in West Africa, and the N1 road can take you there — that is, if the road is passable. This adventurous tune chronicles the story, in music, of the treacherous route to N’zérékoré…good luck on your journey.
Kamalen Don loosely translated means “dance of the young people”. This original tune is a fun and light-hearted tribute to the youth of Bamako who rebelled against tradition in the late 1950’s and pioneered the kamalen’goni — the 10-string harp heard on this piece.