In 2010, Professor Cherif Keita, two of his colleagues and his students of Carleton College(Minnesota) visited the Southern Malian town of Sikasso, where they called on his old friend Nèba Solo, the master of the Senoufo balafon. This is a piece is about friendship, music and the culture of Mali.
This interview and recital was shot in September 2015 at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, where Kassé Mady Diabaté performed with his group composed of his cousin, Lansiné Kouyaté(balafon), Badjè Tounkara(nkoni) and Balaké Sissoko(Kora), all jaliw or Mande oral artists. This exchange illustrates the process by which they change the repertoire they inherit from their forebears and adapt it to their time and needs. Chérif Keita is seen in the role of the host(patron) or jatigi of the visiting artists. As a noble or horon, he is expected to be as generous as his own ancestors in their patronage(jatigiya) for the artists. This is all the more necessary as Kassé Mady’s family has been connected to Chérif’s family for decades.