Yoro Sidibe

A respected musician for some 30 years, practicing ritualistic tribal music that dates back to the 14th century, Yoro Sidibe is a donso ngonifola (hunter's musician) from the Wasulu village of Babbala, in the southwestern Malian hinterlands. Typically, donsos play to get the hunters riled before they leave for a hunt. Dressed in floppy hats and mudcloths with muskets draped on their shoulders, the hunters take to their bicycles in search for animals while Sidibe sings, chants, and strums in an intense trance. Over the years, as well as performing and teaching students, he released several dozen cassettes that were sold by street vendors in the village. Costing less than an American dollar, one of these boombox recordings caught the ear of field recorder Jack Carneal while he was visiting Africa with the hopes of tracking down indigenous musicians. After some convincing, he secured the rights to issue some of Sidibe's recordings on CD for the nonprofit label Yaala Yaala Records. In early 2008, the label paired with Drag City to release Yoro Sidibe's self-titled album. ~ Jason Lymangrover

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