NANGAPE: YAYA DIALLO'S TRADITIONAL WEST AFRICAN MUSIC-- African drumming, Balafon, Flute ...
"The Yaya Diallo album is a masterpiece."
- Gary Lee, Radio show host, THE OVERFLOW, Radio Caroline, http://www.radio-caroline.nl Onzou Records email, Feb. 23, 2003.
NANGAPE is Yaya Diallo's classic 1980 instrumental album recorded in Canada that brought international recognition to his profound heritage of traditional West African healing arts. Soothing and subtle the gentle drumming, balafon and flute music bridges traditional and Western instruments with a sound both respectful of the ancestors and avant-garde. The tracks "Ivoirien" and "Wassoulou" being exclusively drumming are favorits with percussion enthusiasts while "Lobi a la Yaya," "Outeme" and "Nangape," the title track, are as at home in New Age music as they are in traditional West African and World Beat classifications. NANGAPE has garnered publicity and radio play from African and Jazz music reviewers and radio hosts.
ADDITIONAL ALBUMS BY YAYA DIALLO ON ONZOU RECORDS
"... DOUNOUKAN  is a wonderful buffet of West African rhythms from a master drummer. ... Diallo's lifetime of musical experience make this CD well worth having for fans of African percussion."
- Scott Allan Stevens, Host/Producer of Spin the Globe on KAOS Olympia Community Radio, Olympia, WA, May 2003.
Yaya Diallo performs the rhythms of ceremonial, ritual and daily living in traditional West African village life on his album DOUNOUKAN. With drumming that is almost sparse at times and voice that leaves expected conventions behind. DOUNOUKAN proffers an experience in West African village life.
Yaya Diallo's LIVE AT CLUB SODA (recorded 1989, released 2003), performed in Montreal with his band Kanza delivers a sound fans of Yaya's earlier traditonal music albums may find surprising. True to traditional African music stucture, the saxophone, electric violin, bass and lead guitars, drum set and vocals along with the traditional African drums take their turn as solo voice with a sound reminiscent of 1950's Rock and Roll, Blues and Jazz. LIVE AT CLUB SODA will excite people that didn't know they loved African music. This is Kanza music, a relatively new genre created in the villages which had as its intent the purpose of attracting the youth to their roots by fusing traditional music with popular appeal. Initially seeking to gain interest from those within the culture Yaya's innovation of transposing the music from African to Occidental intruments yields an "African Rock" sound suiting global appreciation.
ONZOU RECORDS collaborates with Yaya Diallo producing his music and shares his vision of creating traditional African healing centers to transmit the culture to future generations. If the LIVE AT CLUB SODA album causes people to wonder about Yaya Diallo's musical directions he is quick to point out that this new sound is not an abandonment of traditional music.
YAYA DIALLO THE ARTIST
YAYA DIALLO was born in 1946 in Fienso, in the Republic of Mali, to a nomadic Peul father and a Minianka mother. Since early childhood, he was exploring the balafons which were kept in his paternal family. Yaya's first drum was sculpted by the blacksmith Nianson Koroma.
Thanks to his mother, being from the illustrious Berthé family--hunters, county chiefs and musicians--young Yaya had the chance to hear some of the best musicians of the former canton Zangasso. In his own village, he befriended the old musician, healer, and sorcerer Nangapè Koné who became his protector and mentor.
In 1967 Yaya obtained a scholarship from his government to study chemistry at the University of Montreal where he received a diploma in 1973. The Super Franco-Fête in Quebec in 1974 stirred the dormant musician in Yaya. In 1976, following a brief career as a chemist, he returned to traditional African music. He was a co-founder of the groups Djembe-Kan and Cléba.
Yaya Diallo's album Nangapè, originally published in 1980 on vinyl and reissued on CD in 2002, is the result of Yaya's experiences and influences during his youth. The album brings together the music of two distinct heritages: the flute coming from the nomadic Peul culture and the balafon played by the sedentary Minianka.
NANGAPE is the forerunner of several musical and written published works. This classic instrumental album of African drumming, balafon and flute music remains avant-garde decades after its original release. Energizing and relaxing, the album "NANGAPE" is tantamount to a therapeutic session; taken as an ensemble, the music is a five-stage meditation - a journey through listening to the state of no-mind.
Yaya Diallo has acquired a reputation as a musician, composer, dancer, healer, teacher, lecturer, storyteller and author. A multi-faceted artist, Yaya's performance with his band Kanza in 1989 moves with saxophone, electric violin, bass and lead guitars, drum set and voice along with traditional drums and balafon. This melding of African and occidental instruments can be heard on Yaya Diallo's album LIVE AT CLUB SODA.
Yaya says in an interview, "My purpose is to bring a different point of view of African drumming to America. To share the rhythms of my grandparents along with the knowledge of my people and our culture with the world. Plant seeds in the soul of people by giving them the basic foundation of drumming and all its healing powers."
Yaya Diallo is always interested in the religious, mystical, and spiritual aspects of the music as evidenced in his book The Healing Drum: African Wisdom Teachings.
NEW SERIES OF ARTICLES TO BEGIN BY YAYA DIALLO
DJEMBE DRUM MUSIC
Yaya Diallo Interrupts the Silence
Very often I'm asked to write articles on the subject of drum music. During my 20 years of experience as an instructor of drumming and dance in Africa, Europe,
Asia, U.S.A., Canada and the Antilles I always avoided the ambiguous subjects. One day I said to myself, "Enough, it's enough! Stop the massacre." I have my share of responsibility and guilt in the tragedy that we are living today regarding African percussion. I am going to write a series of articles with the frankness and honesty of style for which I am known. I assure you there will be tears and grinding of teeth over some of the reading. Too bad for the lame ducks!
The following is a list of subjects to be covered:
1. Djembe and Djembefola
2. The Djembe Gangsters
3. Percussion and AIDS
4. The Drum Mafia
5. Percussion and African dance - A Deaf Dialogue
6. African Percussion and Racism
7. Miscellaneous Questions
Note: Do not count on me for a request to offer a public apology or to take back my statements. This will never happen.
To all who are listening ... Greetings!
NEWS AND REVIEWS on elder Yaya Diallo - master drummer, musician, composer, author, African music & dance teacher, lecturer and "Healing Drum Tour" guide to Mali, West Africa - his albums, books and articles is available on the Yaya Diallo community forum, http://yayadiallo.proboards20.com .
VISIT ONZOU RECORDS, http://www.onzou.com
Stephen Conroy, Producer/Manager
Yaya Diallo's West African Music