World, Latin, & Reggae

Sekouba "Bambino" Diabate

When: Thu., July 3, 9:30 p.m. 2008

In the West African country of Guinea, music holds an important role not only to the people but also the government. At the urging of then-president SekouToure, a young Sekouba "Bambino" Diabaté became the singer in the leading band, Bembeya Jazz National, and for more than thirty years Diabaté has been hailed as Guinea's greatest singer. As a solo artist, he combined his griot ancestry with modern world beats into music that teems with life and stories of his people, and lyrics that uplift spirits. Diabaté leads his current band in a rare local appearance on Thursday, July 3, at Ashkenaz (1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley). Depending on the song, Diabaté weaves his mesmerizing voice around and through everything from acoustic folk forms and Mande rhythms to churning Afrobeat. 9:30 p.m., $20.

Larry Kelp

Price: $20

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