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Friday, December 18, 2009

Alfusainey Suso, Kora player

Alfusainey playing the Kora
at the opening
of "Lucy, Darwin and Me"
photos Janine Free

with Anna Stump

This show gave me the opportunity to meet very interesting people, and Alfusainey Suso is one of them. My idea was to find a Kora player and ask him to play at the opening of my show because it was such an important - and beautiful - instrument I was listening to when I was living in Senegal. The task was not super easy. I posted something on Craig's list in "talents gigs" (like I did to find the story teller) . I simply said I was looking for a Kora player. I got some responses asking "what exactly is a Kora player?".

Then eventually Alfusainey called me. We talked on the phone and then I met him at Art Produce Gallery to show him the space. I explained the project to him: playing at the opening the show and I talked about the show.

He said he's never been to Senegal or Gambia, the country his father comes from. He talked about his uncle who taught him how to play the Kora, how he likes that instrument. And how he would like to play more often for the public. His father plays professionally the Kora in the United States and teaches it.

I invited Alfusainey to my house the same night I invited Marian Williams, the story teller, and we had a great time talking about Senegal, Gambia, the perception we have of West Africa and plenty other things.

At the opening of the show, Alfusainey played beautifully and made the evening very special. I thank him a lot for that! It really reminded me the poetic music I was listening to when I was leaving in Senegal.

I hope to have the opportunity to work on another project with Alfusainey, he is very talented and truly loves the music he plays.

Lucy, Darwin and Me
Art Produce Gallery

December 12, 2009 / January 24, 2010

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