About the album: "Wading into the River Djoliba" (From the album's liner notes)
Known locally as Djoliba (meaning great river), the Niger River flows through five African nations over a course of 2,600 miles. Originating in the highlands of Guinea, and running a crescent through Mali, Niger, Benin and Nigeria, the river winds through lush tropical forest, vast savannah, and the arid sand dunes of the Sahara before eventually draining into the Gulf of Guinea. For thousands of years, the Djoliba has been a life source for those who have lived along its banks, nourishing some of the most remote regions of the planet. It is along these banks that the music you hold in your hands was born.
Wading into the River Djoliba is music that evokes a distant place where time is measured by the flowing of the river and by the seasonal arrival of the rains...where the humid night air is pierced by the sound of drums across the river. The music on this album is your guide on a journey to a place deep in Africa, on the banks of the great Niger, the River Djoliba. With your bags on your back, you wade into the river's cool water, and climb carefully into the wooden canoe, waiting to take you across. The crescent moon is setting into the forest trees; night has engulfed the village. The boatman pushes off, and with each stroke of his pole the pirogue brings you closer to another world, just on the shores of the far bank. The sounds of the drums become louder and clearer, reverberating through the night, rising up through the forest canopy. You have left your own world behind...let the music take you!
About the Black Bear Moon Rhythm Ensemble:
The Black Bear Moon Rhythm Ensemble was founded by artist and musician Dave Kobrenski in 2001 in New Hampshire, USA. Kobrenski, an accomplished musician, artist, and educator, studied traditional Mande music styles in Guinea, West Africa, with master musicians such as Famoudou Konaté, Nansady Keita, and other drummers of the region, over a six-year period of yearly sojouns into the Malinké heartland in the Hamanah region of Guinea. Kobrenski also studied the tambin (known also as the fulani flute, a type of African flute) extensively with a master of the Malinké flute tradition, Lanciné Condé.
More info about the group, including concert schedule, photos, and more, available at www.blackbearmoon.com