Smart bets: Arouna Diarra and Patrick Fitzsimons

Arouna Diarra’s heritage as a “griot” in the Mandingue culture of West Africa calls upon the artist and his family members to be ambassadors of art and history. It’s no surprise, then, that Diarra constructs his own instruments — including his beloved 14-string, harplike kamel n’goni — for performing and teaching his music students, singing in his native language, Bambara, with nostalgic spirit. On his forthcoming album, Benkadi (“unity” in Bambara), the multi-instrumentalist is accompanied by guitarist and longtime student of African music Patrick Fitzsimons, who also produced the viscerally pleasing collaboration. The two play their album-release set at Dobra Tea in Black Mountain on Saturday, June 13, from 3-5 p.m. $5 suggested donation ($15 with CD included). dobrateanc.com. Photo of Diarra courtesy of the artist

SHARE
About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.