‘Amadou Diagne is exceptional…he matches Baaba Maal and Salif Keita at heir best’ fRoots Magazine / ‘Anyone on an errants quest to find the rightful heir to the Ry Cooder guitar globetrotter mantle should start with Cory Seznec’ fRoots Magazine
This concert marks the reunion of two musicians who first met busking in Bath over a decade ago, with each having gone on to have acclaimed international careers in in roots music. Together, Amadou Diagne and Cory Seznec will perform a mix of West African and American styles, merging their traditions. The result is an entrancing, groove-based reverie of lilting voices, guitars, kora, banjo, bass and percussion, with recent recordings completed at Peter Gabriel‘s Real World studios in Box, Somerset.
Amadou Diagne is a musician who has the traditions of West Africa at his fingertips, coming from a Griot family line of percussionists and praise singers from the area around Dakar in Senegal. Though Diagne draws heavily on the traditional music and rhythms of West Africa, he is now based in England and has been busy forging his own musical identity as a singer, songwriter, and multi instrumentalist. He writes and performs his songs in Wolof, the most widely spoken language in Senegal, with French and English also in the mix. As a guitarist he has developed a unique and intricate style to accompany himself, drawing on his skills as a percussionist. Amadou has a love of improvisation and an eclectic musical inspiration, exploring the rhythmic possibilities within the melodies he composes.
Somewhere between musical wanderer and uncertified ethnomusicologist dwells the world of Cory Seznec. A French-American musician based in Paris, Cory discovered fingerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo during his adolescence in the US. This led to numerous travels and encounters that helped develop his sound. The discovery of African fingerstyle techniques coupled with trips to different African countries (including a three and half year stint in Ethiopia) changed everything. His style became more and more syncopated, polyrhythmic, and cross-pollinated, and his approach less and less academic. After 10 years on the road with renowned roots act Groanbox, Cory is now heavily involved in a solo project and on Damakase, an Ethio-groove band with Ethiopian musicians Endris Hassen and Misale Legesse.