I went to a free Habib Koité & Bamada
concert yesterday at the Alliance, and it's hands-down the best concert I've been to ever. Habib himself plays some five different instruments, and his supporting band are just as strong: his Balofon player (Kélétigui Diabaté
), for example, is a dour-looking old man who seems to be more dead than alive, until he sits in front of the Balofon and takes up the sticks, at which point he seems to be more Balofon than man. Then the Old Man of the Balofon put down his sticks, and grabbed a violin from somewhere, and tucked it under his chin and destroyed all movie-initiated clichés I had had of young, white violin players.