Senegal’s Frères Guissé to perform at Crossroads Music in Philadelphia on April 6

On Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm, Crossroads Music presents the Frères Guissé, three brothers from northern Senegal known for their close hamony singing, melodic acoustic guitars and gentle percussion. The brothers will present a 7:30 concert and free 6:00 children’s program at 801 South 48th Street, Philadelphia. Tickets ($10-30), audio samples, and more information are available online at http://crossroadsconcerts.org/?p=4549. Recorded information is also available at 215-729-1028.

Djiby, Cheik and Aliou Guissé originate from Fouta Tooro, a northern region of Senegal that is also the birthplace of the singer and guitarist Baaba Maal. Based on different rhythms of the Toucouleur people (such as the Yela, whose weak first and stressed third beat said to be the ultimate ancestor of reggae) the Guissé brothers music is universal, for all ages and races.

This music is beautiful, sensitive, and well rooted in the traditions of West Africa. Djiby’s and Cheikh’s poetic lyrics, close harmony singing, and melodic acoustic guitars are joined by Aliou’s gentle percussion and harmonica notes drifting in the wind. This trio of musical brothers comes from the Fouta region of northern Senegal. They sing in several Senegalese languages, especially Pular (Peulh), their mother tongue, which is spoken in numerous countries in the Sahel region of West Africa.

The three brothers began performing in the early 1980s, when they were still at school and Djiby joined the group Jiw Bagne (Seed of Refusal) as a singer. This group, consisting mostly of high school students, stood out for its highly-committed lyrics against the existing power structure.

Two years later, these students became the group Jamm (Peace). Cheikh joined as a back-up singer and Aliou a percussionist. They began playing in clubs, deepened their musical learning, experimented with various styles, and became part of several other groups. In 1991, Diby and Cheikh decided to launch their own group, which Alioune joined two years later and by the late 90s they had become one of Dakar’s most popular groups. They began touring and recording internationally in the early 2000s and have now performed in Africa, Europe, and America.

 

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