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Leading up to the February 26th release of ‘Cover Art,’ we will be bringing you interviews with the musicians and previews of the songs each one arranged for the record, so check back with us often! Today we have a great interview with Gerald Clayton, one of two pianists on the record, who arranged D’Angelo’s “Africa” for ‘Cover Art.’

For this weeks Friday round up we decided to do it a little different: this is a roundup of our whole Transatlantic Jazz issue. As we come to a close on this issue and embark on a new theme, we thought we would pick some of our favourite features that encompass the past African theme. Enjoy your weekend!

Omara Moctar is one of the most beloved Tuareg musicians and guitarists in Niger and in most of North Africa, but most people know him by his nickname “Bombino”, a name he acquired from being the youngest and smallest member of one of his former bands. For Bombino, playing the guitar is more than a passion or even a profession, it is a life saving, peace making endeavor. For the Tuareg’s—a nomadic people in North Africa that have been persecuted for generations, and who’s human rights have been repeatedly violated in Niger—the guitar is an instrument that has mobilized the people to fight for their freedom, and has even been banned by the government for that reason.

“Anke dje, Anke be” translates from Bambara to English as ” Everyone gather together in peace”. This phrase is where the djembe gets its name keep reading »

The issue of lineage always tends to come up when discussing music. Who played this lick first, where did that technique emerge from, who does he sound like, where does her sound come from. Yet, we tend to have a short term memory when tracing the lineage. Moreover, in America, we also seem to talk about lineage within a geographically small sphere of influence.