ASHLEY MAHER AND BALLA TOUNKARA SHARE THE BILL AT LILY PAD
"The West Meets West Africa" - California and Mali Meet in Boston
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14
@ The Lily Pad, Inman Square, 1353 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA
Ashley appears at 7pm . Balla appears at 8:30pm. Suggested donation, $10.
Solo artist Ashley Maher stops in Boston on her way to the WOMEX conference in Spain ,
to share an evening of acoustic world music at The Lily Pad
with Malian singer / kora master Balla Tounkara...
ASHLEY MAHER is an original - a singer-composer-bandleader who lives in the industrial West yet is truly at home with African and other world music traditions. Her highly individual and infectious brand of world/folk/jazz has gained her an international following, four acclaimed albums, and performances with several major African icons. Ashley has opened for Salif Keita, Baaba Maal, Vusi Mahlasela, Zap Mama, and Dobet Gnahore. Youssou N'Dour recently released his new CD, Alsaama Day, featuring "Boul Bayekou", a song co-written by Ashley. She also just completed her fourth CD, Flying Over Bridges, produced by Cameroon's Andre Manga. Ashley appears at Lily Pad w/ guitarist Francis Jacob, for this special night of beautiful songs and world grooves.
"Imagine the soaring melodies of Joni Mitchell and the darkly lyrical twists and turns of Paul Simon, sung over a steaming cauldron of African rhythms. But, as intriguing as that may sound, it still doesn't quite do justice to the music of Ashley Maher, who manages to use those fertile sources as the stimulation for songs and performances that are uniquely her own."
Don Heckman , Los Angeles Times
BALLA TOUNKARA, singer / kora master, was born into one of the Mali's most prestigious griot families. He studied the kora with his grandfathers, master kora player Batouroue Sekou Kouyate and Samakou Tounkara. Balla's deep devotion to Manding music and his mastery of the kora were further expanded by his interest in Western music. Since moving to the USA in 1996, he has collaborated with jazz, funk, rock, hip-hop, R & B, Latin, and reggae musicians while maintaining his connection to his Malian roots. Balla's group, Groupe Spirit, has performed regularly in Boston and New York, with forays across the border into Canada. They perform a spicy, eclectic blend of African, Latin, funk, and blues that can electrify any audience .
"Balla has it all: the kora technique, the clear-eyed vision, and most of all, the gorgeous singing voice, a voice with range and subtlety that approaches the timbre and emotional impact of Mali's best known singer, Salif Keita ."
Afropop Editor Banning Eyre
# # #
For more information, to request CDs for review, or to schedule an interview, please contact Laura D'Onofrio @ 617 817 1182 or email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org . Photos available on request