Maher Cissoko: Cissoko Heritage

The elements of contemporary music—performers, instruments, genres, modes of consumption—are at the mercy of changeable tastes and racing technology. But consider the extraordinary endurance of West Africa’s griots, musical bearers of history and lore who have kept their art relevant for more than 500 years. Likely explanations for their survival include heredity (griot status passing from parent to child); the timeless thirst for the … More Maher Cissoko: Cissoko Heritage

Marjo Smolander: Cosmologies

Abbreviated version of Marjo Smolander’s biography: Born in the smallest village in Finland’s North Karelia region, she made the Sahara her second home and had to pull strings to get where she is today. Expanded story: It was in her fortunate village, Rääkkylä, that Värttinä, Finland’s most important folk band, formed in 1983; in the local music boom that ensued, young Marjo studied voice and … More Marjo Smolander: Cosmologies