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Playlist No. 46: Professor Olivier Tarpaga Selects

Thursday, February 25, 2021, 8:00 PM

Program

Thank you for joining us these past few weeks in our celebration of Black History Month! The curator of this week's Collective Listening Project playlist, Princeton University African Music Ensemble's Olivier Tarpaga, is celebration incarnate—his joyful, kind, and thoughtful spirit is beloved by all of his colleagues and students. This spirit shines through in his playlist, which traverses several centuries of music from across the African continent and, as Olivier says, will "get you moving with a big smile."

We hope you enjoy this journey, narrated with commentary by Olivier that you can read as you listen at the link below. Let the celebration continue!

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

TIWA SAVAGE Koroba (2020)
Country: Nigeria (West Africa)
The energy and mood of contemporary life in West African cities animate this song. Tiwa Savage is a huge ambassador of Afrobeat music around the world. This song makes me think of street vendors in front of Maison du Peuple in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

MANU CHAO and MARIAM DOUMBIA M'bifé
Amadou & Mariam, from Dimanche à Bamako ("
Sunday in Bamako") (2005)
Country: Mali (West Africa)
"M’bifé," a love song in the Bambara language, is a feel-good song from the amazing Amadou & Mariam, a world-renowned blind couple from Bamako, Mali. The entire album inspires!

ALIF NAABA Yiiki
from Yiki (2013)

Country: Burkina Faso (West Africa)
"Yiki" is translated as stand up or wake up. This song is asking Africa to wake up and lead. Alif is one of my favorite singers in Burkina Faso, and "Yiki" is a beautiful and inspiring song sung in Mooré, my father’s language. 

HUGH MASEKELA and TONY ALLEN We've Landed
from Rejoice (2020)

Countries: Nigeria (West Africa), South Africa
Because my life would be meaningless without Afro-beat! Because the legendary drummer Tony Allen is collaborating with South African giant Hugh Masekela! Listen to the whole album.

IBRAHIM AG ALHABIB Talyat
Tinariwen, from Elwan ("Elephants") (2017)

Country: Mali (West Africa)
When I was a young boy, we would travel to the far north of Burkina Faso to the city of Gorom-Gorom to plant trees to prevent further desertification of the Sahel. This song reminds me of joy, hospitality, and the simple life of the nomads. Tuareg villagers would offer us strong green tea and water on our way to the sand dunes.

BALLAKE SISSOKO Badjourou
from At Peace (2013)

Country: Mali (West Africa)
Please meet ancient classical music from 13th-century Mali during emperor Sundiata Keita's reign. Ballaké Sissoko is one of the best griot/kora players today, and in "Badjourou," in addition to the kora, you will enjoy the Manding guitar, balafon, and a touch of Vincent Segal’s cello.

SALIF KEITA Sumun
from Folon (1995)

Country: Mali (West Africa)
This funky song from Salif Keita is a morale booster. Please pay attention to the solos from each instrument. This song will get you moving with a big smile.

RICHARD BONA and SALIF KEITA Kalabancoro
from Munia: The Tale (2003)

Country: Cameroon (Central Africa)
Richard Bona is one of the most celebrated vocalists, instrumentalists, and jazzmen of today. This song reminds me of Paspanga, my beloved childhood neighborhood in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.