The Elma Performing Arts Center in Zichron Ya’acov will groove and rock on February 4 and 5, when the BKO Quintet from Mali makes its debut appearances in this country. The group, which is fronted by celebrated djembe hand drum master Ibrahima Sarr, fuses various African genres, including the griot style which derives from the traditional figure of the West African historian, storyteller, poet and/or musician. In West African lore, the griot is responsible for preserving oral history and is often seen as a societal leader who serves as adviser to the royals.
BKO’s material also incorporates the music played by the hunters of the Bambara people who are spread across various countries in West Africa, primarily Mali, but also Guinea, Burkina Faso and Senegal.
The five members of the group come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and play a variety of percussion instruments including the dunun, a West African base drum, while Abdoulaye Kone plays the lute-like djelingoni, which is considered by some to be the forerunner of the banjo. The rhythmic ante is upped by Nfali Diakite on the donsongoni hunter’s harp, who also adds rap-like incantations.For tickets and more information: (04) 630-0111 and www.elma-hotel.com