"I started The Senegal-America Project in the '90s as a format for creating musical collaborations. It has expanded to include recordings, film, health-care and educational initiatives, and art-exchange collaborations. The connection to your…"
The Arts and Peacebuilding Group is for any individual and/or group interested in the role of the arts in peacebuilding. This encompasses working with children and youth in conflict and post-conflict settings. Conflict is defined broadly.
"Hi Tony. Love Senegalese music. My husband and I travel to S. Africa often and we keep saying we need to stop and spend some time in Senegal. Your music and education work looks wonderful too. Have you checked out the arts and peacebuilding group?…"
I already tracked down your video, but thanks for including the link. That was powerful, insightful stuff... and I love your voice. Yeah, I know and dig both Irma and Earl. They were on one of our "Projects and Visioins" trips…"
I am familiar with your wonderful work. I think you know my friends Storytelling Irma and Earl Hammond, and my son, Sharif Valentine. Yes, we do indeed share common ground. I would love to connect further. I'll be sure to give you a call.…"
I saw your photos, read your introductory comments, and enjoyed reading about your activities and visions. (I was on the same program with "Brother Blue" a long time ago in Cambridge, and played for one of his stories that…"
I'm a percussionist, composer, and producer. I perform as a soloist, or with my group World Rhythms Ensemble, and with a new trio called Impulse Ensemble. In all these settings I do World Music, Jazz, and Jam Band festivals. I'm also among the consortium of performers in The Senegal-America Project. I offer programs in schools that include hands-on workshops and concerts. For all of these activities, the focus on the fusion of tradition and innovation in the context of World Music, the practice of "global citizenship," and the notion that we are all connected.
In 1995 I studied in Senegal with tama master Massamba Diop, and then performed with Baaba Maal and his Dande Lenol band. A year later I started the Senegal-America Project which itself has supported many collaborative recordings, US tours for my band and our Senegalese co-conspirators, and educational and health-care initiatives.
In terms of the music, my focus is on the "deep end of the pool;" on the purposes of creating and performing music, and on the forces we are immersed in when we do this. I enjoy collaborations with other musicians, dancers, poets and storytellers. I especially dig the spectacle of our creations, and working with the next generation on whatever catches our attention. For me it's all about how "we are all connected," and the amazing things that become possible when we act in concert with that fact.
Artistic Experiences I Have Had On My Travels
One favorite: I'm performing with Baaba Maal at his "Festival les Blues du Fleuve" in his hometown of Podor, Senegal. It's 3am, he's singing an ancient prayer and 3,000 people are swaying to the sound and hovering an inch from heaven...then the band kicks into it's heady mix of mbalax and soul and the place goes wild. For the next two hours we're all transported...the musicians, the dancers, the audience, the security guards, the sound man...Finally there's a faint glimmer of light on the horizon. The music stops, and 30 seconds later the call to prayer rings out, and we simultaneously begin and end our day.
Places I Would Like To Visit
The south of India. The Paiste gong factory. Bali.
Art Forms And Cultures I Would Like To Engage With
I'm open to whatever is next. I tend to dig it all when the feel is right.
My Creative Influences & Favorite Artists
Don Cherry, Alice Coltrane, Peter Gabriel, The Last Poets, Baaba Maal, Miles Davis, Sting, Oumou Samgare, Jack DeJohnette, Trilok Gurtu, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Milford Graves, The Beatles, Zakir Hussain, Smokey Robinson, Hundertwasser, ...you get the idea.
My Artistic Affiliations
World Rhythms, The Senegal-America Project, Baaba Maal, Arts Are Essential.org, Impulse Ensemble, Gokh-bi System, Mawwal, Massamba Diop, Barou Sall,
Hi Tony. Love Senegalese music. My husband and I travel to S. Africa often and we keep saying we need to stop and spend some time in Senegal. Your music and education work looks wonderful too. Have you checked out the arts and peacebuilding group? It's a work in progress, but operates as a virtual space for like minded people to meet, share ideas, support, resources, etc.
I am familiar with your wonderful work. I think you know my friends Storytelling Irma and Earl Hammond, and my son, Sharif Valentine. Yes, we do indeed share common ground. I would love to connect further. I'll be sure to give you a call. In the meantime, have a look at my video:
LOVESTORY FOR HUMANITY: ROMANCE OF VOLCANO AND OCEAN: