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Cheick Hamala Diabate

From Africa to Appalachia and the 5-String Banjo

Cheick Hamala Diabate, Left and Sammy Shelor, Right. Photo Virginia Foundation for the HumanitiesRoanoke, VA -- Jefferson Center in partnership with the Virginia Folklife Program is proud to present “From Africa to Appalachia” on Thursday, January 14, 2016. The development of the 5-string banjo, among the very first truly American-born instruments, provides a revelatory lens on the development of American popular music and culture, and the immense contributions of African cultural traditions. The instrument we now know as the banjo was derived from lutes brought by enslaved Africans to the New World, most notably the West African n’goni and kora. The European violin (fiddle) and the African-derived banjo likely comprised “the first duet” in the New World, providing the cornerstone of American musical forms for centuries to come. Sammy shelor joins Cheick Hamala Diabate for this outstanding event.

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