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CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music Present Habib Koite

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 15, 2014 07:25pm | Post a Comment

CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present one of Africa's most popular and habib koiterecognized musicians, Habib Koite, on Saturday, February 1st at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.

Koite has gained a strong fan base by integrating the rock and folk sounds of the Western world without watering down his cherished Malian roots. Called "Mali's biggest pop star" by Rolling Stone (in an article in which Bonnie Raitt compared Habib to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn), Koite has also received raves from People, Entertainment Weekly, and the New York Times.

Habib Koite was born in 1958 in Thies, a Senegalese town situated on the railway line connecting Dakar to Niger, where his father worked on constructing the tracks. He descends from a line of griots, traditional African troubadours. Koite grew up surrounded by seventeen brothers and sisters, and developed his unique guitar style accompanying his griot mother. He inherited his passion for music from his paternal grandfather, who played the kamele n'goni, a traditional four-stringed instrument associated with hunters from the Wassolou region of Mali.

Koite takes some unique approaches to playing the guitar. He tunes his instrument to the pentatonic scale and plays on open strings as on a kamale n'goni. At other times Koite plays music that sounds closer to the blues or flamenco. His singing style is restrained and intimate with varying cadenced rhythms and melodies. Koite is unique because he brings together different styles, creating a new pan-Malian approach that reflects his open-minded interest in all types of music.

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CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music Present Rokia Traore

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 28, 2013 07:34pm | Post a Comment

CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present singer/songwriter Rokia rokia  traore ciis Traore on Friday, November 22nd at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.

It all started with a sound inside Rokia Traore's head. One of the most adventurous singer/songwriters in Africa knew that she wanted to create a musical style "more modern, but still African, something more blues and rock than my folk guitar." Then she heard an old Gretsch, the classic electric guitar beloved by American rockabilly bands back in the fifties and sixties, and played by artists from Chet Atkins to George Harrison. That was the sound she had been looking for, and it has helped bring a fresh and startling new dimension to her exquisite and adventurous songs.

The daughter of a Malian diplomat posted to the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, Traore studied in Brussels and worked in a rap group, before deciding to go back to Mali to create the music she wanted, which was "not pop, not jazz, not classical, but something contemporary with traditional instruments."

She survived by washing dishes, cooking in a restaurant, and working as a housekeeper, as she found musicians for her new songs backed by her own acoustic guitar, the West African n'goni, and the balafon. She became a success back in Europe, where she was hailed as the "African Discovery of 1997" after performing at the Angouleme Festival in France. Recording contracts and international tours followed, as Rokia continued to develop her musical ideas and delight audiences around the world.

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CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music Present The Idan Raichel Project, 10/12

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 5, 2013 04:00pm | Post a Comment

CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present The Idan Raichel Project on Idan Raichel photo by Eldad Rafaeli Saturday, October 12th at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.

In 2003, an unusual song aired on Israeli radio. With its haunting chorus in the Ethiopian language of Amharic and a global fusion sound, "Bo'ee" became an instant crossover hit that catapulted The Idan Raichel Project to the top of Israel's pop charts. The song turned a young dreadlocked keyboardist and producer into a household name in his native land.

Soon, The Idan Raichel Project became known around the world for its cross-cultural collaborations. Since the release of their first international album, The Idan Raichel Project has represented a hope that artistic collaboration can break down barriers between different backgrounds and beliefs.

Idan Raichel, the architect of this unique project, is a keyboardist, producer, and composer. He has long been fascinated with the diversity of Israel and sought to celebrate his appreciation and respect for different cultures through his music. Because of its open door to immigrants from Jewish communities around the globe, Israel is home to a stew of cultures and traditions, including Jews of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Latin American, Eastern European, and African roots. There is also a large Arab community, almost 20% of the population of Israel. The music of the Idan Raichel Project draws on all these traditions.

The Idan Raichel Project's latest album, Quarter to Six, was released in spring 2013. It offers a transcontinental mix of different musical streams. The album features guest appearances by Portuguese fado star Ana Moura, Palestinian-Israeli singer Mira Awad, German countertenor Andreas Scholl, Colombia's Marta Gomez, Mali's Vieux Farka Toure, and a selection of some of Israel's top up-and-coming singers and musicians.

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April at CIIS Programs & Performances: The Rumi Concert & Paris Combo

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 4, 2013 04:11pm | Post a Comment

CIIS Public Programs & Performances has an action-packed April in store for you with two amazing shows:

Catch The Rumi Concert: Lion of the HeartRumi Concert on Saturday, April 20th at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. Jalaluddin Rumi, one of the world's most revered mystical poets, produced a prolific range of inspiring and devotional poetry that encapsulates the Sufi experience of union with the divine. Although Rumi was a Sufi and a scholar of the Qu'ran, his appeal reaches across religious and social divisions. This performance unites the classic poetry of the thirteenth century mystic with the innovative music, dance, and story of a remarkable ensemble: poet and Rumi translator Coleman Barks, cellist David Darling, world percussionist Glen Velez, and dancer and storyteller Zuleikha. It is a soul-stirring collaboration. Get your tickets HERE!

On Friday, April 26th, The Paris Combo brings their intriguing sound to the Palace of Fine Arts in San Paris comboFrancisco. Fronted by the mischievous vocals of chanteuse Belle du Berry, the combo has struck a positive chord with critics and audiences for their fun-loving mix of jazz, French pop, cabaret, gypsy, Latino, and Middle Eastern rhythms. Get your tickets HERE!

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Amoeba Music & CIIS Public Programs & Performances Present Karsh Kale & Alam Khan, March 21st

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 28, 2013 07:15pm | Post a Comment

CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present Karsh Kale featuring sarod master karsh kaleAlam Khan in Classical Science Fiction: An Intimate Sonic Exploration of the Future Sounds of Indian Classical Music on March 21st at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

Classical Science Fiction, brainchild of producer and multi-instrumentalist Karsh Kale, breaks down the traditional constructs of Indian classical music, while maintaining that music's emphasis on rhythm, scale, and improvisation.

This is not just an exercise in blending various musical traditions. "The effective fusion of styles and repertoire," according to Karsh, "is not dependent on the musical concepts or genres used, but rather the musicians assembled." In this case, Karsh has put together an all-star ensemble of musicians, rooted in their traditional styles, and yet all have created new paths in music. Indian classical, electronica, blues, jazz, rock, and ghazal come together in a seamless blend.

Karsh would be the first to admit that the fusion of Indian classical and other musical traditions is not new. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Remember Shakti, and Tabla Beat Science (of which Karsh is a founding member) have all incorporated Indian classical with genres such as jazz, Western classical, and to lesser extent, electronic music. With Classical Science Fiction, Kale and his collaborators push these boundaries even farther, blending the new Western idioms of 21st century CIIS America.

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