Baaba Maal

Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
April 9, 2010

Baaba Maal
Baaba Maal

Story & Photos by Phil Onofrio - Phil Onofrio Photography, Copyright 2010

Baaba Maal, the Senagalese master musician wowed the audience at his Old Town School performance on Saturday, April 9, 2010. He is touring in support of his new CD "Television," describing TV as the stranger you didn't ask for coming into your living room. (Check out the video below!) He has a social consciousness in his lyrics, expressing concern for the turbulence in the world, the need to end tribal conflicts in Africa, and in conversation with the audience prioritizing the need for African children to have universal access to education and technology so that they are not outsiders in the modern world.

Maal embraces a multi-lingual approach in performance and holds to West African musical traditions, but has an eclectic taste that can touch on electronic dance elements. For instance, he features the group The Brazilian Girls on his CD project, giving it some western "edge." The vibe of the concert overall was distinctively West African and was driven by bursts of talking drums, guitar, and bass with the intensity you might expect at a rock concert. But looking at the musicians in native attire and hearing them takes you clearly back to Senegal. His performance was definitely something to experience live.

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