Other west African instruments, like balafon, ngoni etc.
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By dleufer
#27793
Toumani Doumbia is a bolonfola from Baro, a village in the Gberedu region Guinea. He was the leader of the group "Les Chasseurs Donso de Baro" who toured around West Africa, even playing in the CCF in Dakar. The group has since split up but Toumani continues to play bolon at fetes in the region. Over the last few years Toumani has started to go blind and can now only partially see through his right eye and not at all through his left. After being given a guitar as a gift he taught himself to play and now plays many traditional songs on guitar while his son Banjou accompanies him on bolon.
I studied bolon for 1 month with Toumani in Baro. He's definitely one of the most incredible performers I've ever witnessed, a true showman as you will see from the videos. He is available to teach bolon in Baro for anyone who's interested. Send me a PM for any more information and feel free to ask any questions.
Unfortunately I lost the notepad where I had written down all of the info about these tracks. I'm going to search through the other recordings I took to see if he mentions the names of any of the pieces. If you recognize any of them I would be grateful if you could share the info.

Here's the first video. Toumani plays guitar while Banjou plays bolon
[video]www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4U1Cj1Hz7w&feature=youtu.be[/video]

In this video we see Toumani wearing traditional bolonfola headgear. Interestingly this is the skin of the monkey/ape which in Malinke is called "Bando", like the rhythm Bando Jeli. The dance for Bando Jeli emulates the way this monkey/ape moves it's white chest hairs. Toumani tried to give me a skin to being home with me but I politely refused. I don't think the customs officials would have like that
[video]www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOypkTp7aJQ&feature=youtu.be[/video]
Sorry about the wind noise on this one, we had an unexpected blast of wind just as I started recording.
Last edited by dleufer on Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.