Tani Diakite and the Afrofunkstars are an ever-evolving project featuring a diverse array of traditional instruments and rhythms from West Africa—specifically Wasulu, a region on the border of Mali and Guinea. Tani Diakite has captured the spirit of Wasulu music in its most colorful arrays, layering blends of funky percussion with soulful vocals and bright, native stringed instruments.
Tani himself plays the Kamale n’goni, a West African ancestor to the banjo. Wasulu music is known to charm the spirits of the animals that Malian hunters sought. With a musical ancestry that helped pave the way for new genres, Wasulu music not only establishes the roots of blues and world music, but also hints at its emerging relatives such as bluegrass and folk. However, the percussion-oriented and improvisational trademarks in their music bring the Afrofunkstars through local jazz venues such as Cafe Coda and Alchemy.
Their sound is an uplifting and almost spiritual force, empowering both listeners and the musicians that Tani inspires to collaborate with. It is another hallmark of the band that each show features different musicians and singers who provide fresh variety to the act. That’s the charm of a live performance of the Afrofunkstars—one never knows what to expect next! But one thing is to be expected: the audience will always be caught up in their spirit, dancing and immersed in the groove.
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