Sat 20 Apr 2019

Saturday Shenanigans: Modou Ndiaye

Modou Ndiaye is a virtuoso kora player, vocalist, drummer and percussionist with a superb repertoire of rhythms fusing together traditional and modern beats. He plays a variety of West African instruments ranging from djembe, sabar, calabash and talking drum to his leading instrument –the 22 stringed kora (West African Harp). Modou is a member of the famous Cissokho family of Griot musicians and oral historians from the Cassamance region of Southern Senegal.  A Griot or 'Jali' is a West African historian, advisor, arbitrator, praise singer, story-teller and entertainer. Essentially these musicians were walking history books, preserving their ancient stories and traditions through song. Their inherited traditions were passed down through the generations.

His music is the perfect balance of beautiful yet powerful harmonies with the gentle yet lively tones of the kora, bass guitar, calabash, djembe and a variety of African percussion instruments, uniting traditional and modern sounds that leave you invigorated and inspired!

Modou’s music has also been in demand from the global film industry.  Commissioned by Warner Brothers in 2006, his djembe playing can be heard in the soundtrack of the blockbuster ‘Blood Diamond’.

In 2008, at the request of Brian Elsley, Modou's kora playing featured on the teenage cult series ‘Skins’. 

In 2015 Modou worked with William Goodchild, William composes and produces music for film and television and has scored for the major broadcasters including BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, PBS, National Geographic international, Discovery international and Animal planet. Modou’s vocals were recorded by William to feature on the Gorongosa park wildlife series for PBS.

Modou is not only a performing and recording artist, he is also a tutor, teaching Kora and Djembe both here in the UK and internationally at festivals and corporate workshops. Modou has also worked with both ‘Live Music Now’ and ‘Superact’ these are charity based organisations that provide participatory performances, workshops and training events throughout the UK.  They deliver music to groups in the community whose access to live music would normally be restricted, such as children with special needs, adults with learning difficulties, older people, hospital and hospice patients, prison inmates and young offenders and refugees.  

Modou’s dream is spread through his music: the universal language of peace, togetherness, love and understanding across the globe.

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