Sep
24


I first experienced Khaira Arby’s forceful singing in the music documentary “The Festival in the Desert: The Tent Sessions” which focused on the intimate musical happenings away from the main stage at the 2003 gathering outside Timbuktu. I immediately recognized a formidable voice: piercing, flexible and joyous. In an interview in the film she even says that she loved singing so much that she divorced her husband who had disapproved of her singing, and had been singing ever since.  Well, Khaira Arby has been touring in North America for the past few weeks driving them wild in venues large and small. Lucky for me, I got a last minute notification from Banning Eyre of Afropop Worldwide that she had added a last minute gig to her  itinerary, at the Bowery Poetry Club, not far from my home. So I grabbed my camera and headed down. Banning had mentioned that the band was thoroughly smokin’ –and they certainly were!  Although Khaira had been playing to packed houses, the word had not gotten out sufficiently to draw a large crowd…But that worked to my advantage, as I was able to get close to the stage and videotape without banging into dancers.

This is music to sway to, to dance to, even to meditate to — and of course, to dance the stately Takamba to, which they do  here. While there is a lot of call and response repetition, the music calls upon the singer to improvise between the repeated phrases, and this is where the meat of the music lies. I recommend more than one listening.  Speaking of which, Khaira has a CD out  on the US label Clermont Music that is available through Amazon and iTunes. For more information, go to http://www.myspace.com/khairaarby



Post a Comment

Michal
Welcome!

Here’s where you’ll find my weekly original world music video blogs that appear on Huffington Post, as well as an archive starting in April of 2009.

This is also the place where you will find video that is exclusive to my site. I’ve traveled to places like Uzbekistan, Morocco, and Taiwan and no matter where I go I have found amazingly talented and creative people working in every genre from the deepest traditions to the cutting edge.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to interview them and to capture some of what they do on video. Enjoy what you see and hear, and let me know what you think. I welcome your feedback.

Subscribe

Name:
Email:
Country:
Company:
Subscribe

Translate:

Archives