I am very happy and excited to tell you about an amazing new film documentary by Aja Salvatore called “Music In Mali: Life Is Hard, Music Is Good”. This feature-length documentary is about the musicians, dancers and everyday people of Mali who are creating inspiring heartfelt music in some of the most difficult living conditions of West Africa.
For the past five years, Kanaga System Krush (KSK) Records have been recording and documenting the lives of a small group of musicians from Mali. “Music In Mali” features artists such as Djeli Mady, Mangala Camara, Dejenba Seck, and Toumani Diabate, in intimate settings, performing their music and sharing their story.
It is so wonderful to see them all here. I saw them live in Africa and they were truly impressive artists. I especially loved Toumani’s all night music club. He does not mess around!
From one of the world’s poorest and most polluted countries viewers will hear and see the music of ceremony and celebration that inspires musicians around the globe including celebrities such as Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and Bannning Eyre. From the villages of the Segou to the ghettos of Bamako the message is clear “Life is hard, music is good”.
Director and drummer Aja Salvatore and his brotherstarted out getting to know the artists and learning the native language, and then began recording these incredible artists to document, preserve and promote the traditional music from West Africa. Aja founded Kanaga System Krush, a fair-trade record label, to help bring this music to the world market and help put money in the pockets of the artists.
Besides being a film director Aja and his brother are both accomplished percussionists and play traditional style Mali djembe and dununs, no easy accomplishment by any means. It takes years and years of dedicated time and study to get to their level of accomplishment musically and these guys have put in their time to become excellent drummers. I had the chance to sit in with them in Nevada City last year at a West African dance class and it sounded and felt just like we were back in Mali!
From what I have seen from the three demo clips on line Aja and his brother have definitely reached their goal and more.
I can not say in words how excited I am about this film. This is a very impressive film on so many different levels. Artistically, creatively and historically.
And the production quality is so high. It is a pleasure to watch this film (at least the clips I have seen) over and over.
Anyone even slightly interested in African music or drumming will love it. I can definitely see it it winning awards at film festivals across the globe.and I give it a 5 star out of five star rating! For me it just does not get any better then this! Great job guys!