The fact that griots still exist in the information age is something to cherish. These West African troubadours, poets and virtuoso musicians preserve the histories of a people not by writing them down but by passing them on as stories, from one generation to the next. Cheick Hamala Diabate's Malian griot tradition extends 800 years, about as long as the lineage of his chosen instrument, the ngoni. In Diabate's hands, this ancestor of the banjo produces rapid chromatic melodies. Local groove jazz outfit Funk Ark and Richmond's salsa classica preservationists Bio Ritmo join the old master for an evening of compelling world rhythms at Rock and Roll Hotel.
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