Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze – Power of kora and trumper


  • November 10th 7pm. VDU Great Hall, Kaunas
  • November 11th 7pm. St.Catherine's Church, Vilnius

It is an usual duo of  kora player Ablaye Cissoko (Senegal) and the trumpeter Volker Goetze (USA). This duo is a spiritual journey that goes along with a free jazz and a music of mandingo. The friendship of these two musicians gives results in music – impressionistic pieces of music which have special harmony that feel just like from the heaven above.

The first time they met was in 2001. Ablaye Cissoko is the successor of traditional griot music of Senegal. Volker Goetze is a german origin new Yorker. And when they did met each other they began to create blend in music that was clear and graceful, and futuristic. This duo is powerful, noble in spite all cultural and instrumental differences between artists. All the notes have a place, worth and weight in this duos peaceful, meditative music. The feeling of light and space, and mystic is created by soft and velvet voice of Ablaye Cissoko and also wavy, playful sounds of trumpet next to the sounds of kora (musical instrument from western Africa with 21 string) that sounds a lot like harp and lute.

Creating from the heart is the essence of the musical works of Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze. These two musicians listens to each other. There is a endless trust between them and they exchange ideas and due to that they do create the great beauty. This duo is like a breath of fresh air that surrounds the listener by the power of universal music that is originated strait from the spiritual center of the earth – Africa. It is a music that is warm, elegant, it helps to soothe your mind and breaths the meaning into the listener. The music that is created by two mentioned artists is peaceful but it does escalate important political and social issues of Africa.

Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze have released three albums together: “Sira” (2008), “Amanké Dionti” (2012), “Djaliya” (2014). The record “Sira” in January of 2009 made into the top ten best world music song list made by CMJ radio.

The duo has performed in “New York Jazz Gallery” (USA), “Jazz House” (Denmark), “Cafe de la Danse” (France), “Babel Med Music” (France), “Festival Les Arts à Huy“ (Belgium), “Muziekpublique” (Belgium), “CC De Adelberg” (Belgium), “Zèbre de Belleville” (France), “Fest. Jazz à Vienne” (France), “Festival Jazz à Oloron” (France), “Théâtre de Rungis” (France), “Le Cheval Blanc” (France), “Espace Prévert“ (France),  “Le Salmanazar” (France), “Festival Les Nuits d'O” (France), “Théâtre du Pédiluve“ (France), “Centre Jean Gagnant“ (France) and in many other places.

Ablaye Cissoko originates from griot family from Senegal – musicians, singers, story teller caste. The musician connects traditional music of manding and modern music with sensitivity and intellect and creates sincere love songs and also songs that are worthy of respect that are made of wonderful sounds of kora. Ablaye Cissoko has a goal that he can preserve traditions that are lasting for a thousand years and also he desires to have thriving center of culture in which kids could learn those traditions.

The performer could be seen anywhere in the world. Also he participates in many projects: together with Le Corda Ba he explores differences in Senegal’s music, with the ensemble “Constantinople” he dives into Persian rhythms, with the “African Jazz Roots” he successfully unites western jazz and African traditions, “Odisea Negra” performs with “La Chimera” orchestra and has solo program in “Griot Rouge”.

Volker Goetz is a trumpeter, composer, director from New York. His creative works are a dialog between cultures, it connects different disciplines and the newest technologies. The performers compositions originates from folk music, rock, jazz, contemporary music, classical and baroque music. Volker Goetze had the honor to present his pieces at the “Carnegie Hall”, “Kennedy Center”, “Paris Jazz Festival”, “WDR Cologn”, “Gasteig Munich”, “Jazz-A-Vienne”, “World Festival of Sacred Music”, “Caixa Forum Madrid” and at the festival of opera of Munich. This artist is welcome to participate in works of such prestigious places as “Apollo Theatre”, “New York Foundation for the Arts”.

Volker Goetze explored verbal heritage of western Africa, its influence to the culture of  the African Americans and he presented a documentary about that “Griot” in 2011. This movie speaks about musical and spiritual griot talents and roles that are being transferred from generation to generation: historians, story tellers, singers, poets, musicians, prayers, healers. In this movie Ablaye Cissoko is shown as an example of this culture, a talent that enriches peoples life’s with words. This movie was presented in Canada, USA and later on in Europe.



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