A free concert at Glen Echo Park on May 5 will showcase the diversity of musical sources and traditions. The first set will feature Cheik Hamala Diabaté, Originally from Mali, Cheik Hamala plays music from the African griot tradition on the n’goni and kora, traditional African stringed instruments. Both of these instruments are understood to be ancestors of the banjo and Cheik Hamala explores that connection by playing the banjo himself as well as performing with prominent banjo players like Bela Fleck. In 2007, Diabaté’s collaboration with banjo player Bob Carlin, “From Mali to America” (5-String Productions), led to a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional World Music Album. The set will also include Rob Colton on guitar and Diandree Dukes on djembe.
The second half of the concert will transition to modern country-western music with Karen Collins and the Backroads Band. Karen, a coal miner's daughter, grew up listening to country music in southwest Virginia. After moving to the Washington, DC, area she founded the award-winning Cajun band Squeeze Bayou, the Blue Moon Cowgirls (an acoustic country quartet), and the honky tonk Backroads Band. Karen’s early influences are evident in her original songs, which echo Loretta Lynn’s no-nonsense sass, Hank Williams’ down-to-earth lyricism, Ernest Tubb’s wry humor, and more. The Backroads Band also includes guitar wizard Ira Gitlin, Pat Puglisi on drums, and James Key on bass.
The concert will start at 7:30 in the Glen Echo Bumper Car Pavilion and is a co-production of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington and the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture.
Copyright 2018 The Folklore Society of Greater Washington