‘Look who’s praying’: Landing Mané
14/11/2017, 19:00 - 21:00
£10, £8 (concessions), free for students and under-18s
Senegalese instrumentalist and dancer Landing Mané will present his percussion-based folkloric ensemble, Jamo Jamo Arts, in the School of Music’s Concert Hall. Reflecting the post-colonial stage performance setting of a young Senegal presenting regional music traditions, Mané will lead some of the UK’s leading West African musicians as they reach beyond the nationalist beginnings of secularized folkloric performance into some of the devotional practices of his own Jola people and their surrounding language group.
Landing Mané is from Senegal in West Africa and is both the Director of the School of Music’s West African Ensemble, Lanyi, and the founder and director of Jamo Jamo Arts. Perhaps best-known internationally as a dancer, Mané is also a skilled percussionist and plays a range of instruments from his own Jola people in Senegal. Mané was trained in contemporary dance and the post-colonial genre of folkloric stage performance among West Africa’s Francophone nations that came to be known as “African ballet” so is also accomplished in musical traditions from across the region. Many newcomers to African music imagine that the instrumentalists are improvising to accompany original choreography designed for entertainment. African ballet, however, is an amalgamation of regional spiritual traditions.
This Jamo Jamo Arts performance reaches beyond the 1960s program of secularization (or “demystification” initially led by Sekou Touré’s socialist government in Guinea) into the regional spiritual forms that were adapted for stage performance, many of which are still performed in healing rituals in community settings. Although Islam has a long and dominant presence in Senegal and there is a small Christian minority, the Jola’s own awasena spiritual tradition continues among traditionalists and lives on in their music. As one of the few musicians in the U.K. who knows the drumming and dances of the Jola bugarabu tradition, Mané will take the audience through the enduring esoteric awasena path. The ensemble will also perform the music of other spiritual traditions such as the kankouran dance of the neighbouring Mandinka people in the Casamance region of Senegambia and some devotional music of the Baye Fall Sufi sect unique to Senegambia.
This concert is part of the 2017/18 concert series at the School of Music.
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