African Folk Life

by | Apr 16, 2004

Baaba Maal

Old Town School of Folk Music on Lincoln is housed in an old public library building. Above the stage there is a mural depicting American folk life. This Friday night in Chicago the Old Town gave us real life African folk life, depicted live on stage. Baaba Maal and his band from Senegal in West Africa rendered music largely crafted with drums and acoustic guitars, accompanied by the beautiful and powerful voice of Baaba Maal. One thing I enjoyed seeing throughout the evening was African women from the audience running up on stage to offer the musicians cash money and then a dance. By the time the show was over three white men also paid their respects in such fashion. It was participative and I love that kind of thing. Even though we understood no words, we got the music, and felt well nourished by the experience.