Sissoko & Segal Blend Baroque and West African Music

Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Ségal

 

Berea College welcomes the public and campus community to this week’s convocation featuring Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Ségal who collaborate to create hybrid chamber music. Sissoko, who plays the traditional kora, a lute-harp from Mali, and Segal, a French cellist who plays for the trip-hop band Bumcello, will present Night Music: Blending West African and Baroque Traditions at Phelps Stokes Chapel on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. This convocation, part of the Stephenson Memorial Concert series, is free and open to the public.

After touring together for more than 20 years, they’ve developed a hybrid tradition that draws from West African troubadour songs, the heritage of Baroque music, and modern sensibilities. At a time when cross-cultural music has tended toward highly-caffeinated electric pop and dance music, Sissoke and Segal remind us that there is room–maybe even a need–for a quieter, more refined world music.

Their collaboration grew out of a personal friendship with no attempt to produce a record that would be commercial. Their collaboration with chamber music came at a time when cross culture music tended to veer towards electric pop and dance music.

The convocation events, which are provided to both the campus and public communities, are a significant part of a student’s educational experience at Berea College. See https://www.berea.edu/convocations/ for the schedule of all convocations this academic year.

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 60 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition.  Berea is one of eight federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing, and meals.  The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.