Telluride just went to school on the West African instrument the kora. A 21 stringed instrument played by virtuoso Toumani Diabate. He was joined onstage by banjo great Bela Fleck in an entertaining and enlightening set.

To my ears, the kora sounds very much like a mandolin with slight harpsichord tendencies on the high end, a bright guitar through the mid-range and the bass end sounds like a bass.

The instrument is approximately 700 years old, made of cowskin and strung with fishing line.

After playing several West African tunes the duo performed dueling banjos, er- dueling banjo/kora as an encore.

Toumani Diabate

Toumani Diabate demonstrates how the kora is played

Bela Fleck and Toumani Diabate

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Comment by Jerry Withrow on June 19, 2009 at 7:16pm
Caught 'em on the Throw Down Your Heart tour and more recently at a stretched out festival warm-up gig in Charlotte. Their chemistry just gets more intricate and rewarding. Listening to Diabate is a soul-cleansing experience for me and I recommend it to all my soul-soiled brothers and sisters.

Jerry

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.