Alpha Yaya Diallo will perform guitar and other instruments at Crescent Elk Auditorium. The Pilot/Submitted photo
CRESCENT CITY – African guitarist, singer and composer Alpha Yaya Diallo and his band will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. today (Jan. 7) at Crescent Elk Auditorium, 994 G St.
The performance will be the second concert of the Del Norte Association for Cultural Awareness’ (DNACA) 29th season.
Diallo – originally from Guinea in West Africa – has garnered a reputation internationally for his musicianship and live shows. In addition to acoustic and electric guitar playing, he is an artist with skills on a variety of percussion instruments and the balafon, a traditional wooden xylophone.
By uniting the traditional and the contemporary, Diallo, a self-taught musician, has carved a niche for himself beside such West African luminaries as Salif Keita, Baaba Maal, Youssou N’Dour, and Ismael Lo.
His father worked as a doctor-surgeon who was frequently on the move with his family. Growing up in a number of regions of Guinea, Diallo was exposed to a variety of cultures, and absorbed musical traditions from the Malenke, Sousou, and his own Foulani people. In addition he spent time in neighboring Senegal, where his mother has relatives, and picked up the mbalax rhythm there, as well as influences from Cape Verde and the Caribbean.
While at school and university, he had the opportunity to move to Europe where became a member of Fatala – a group of West African musicians recording for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label.
Fatala traveled widely, appearing at many festivals throughout Western Europe, including the prestigious WOMAD Festival outside London, and the Festival d’Angoulèm in France. After the band’s North American tour in 1991 Diallo decided to stay, and settled on the West Coast.
Diallo has five albums to his credit, and has won several Juno awards and nominations, which in Canada is the equivalent of a Grammy. He will appear in Crescent City with a bassist, drummer, percussionist and dancer.
Tickets cost $18 for general admission, $15 for seniors 65 and older, and $12 for students through full-time college. Tickets are available at Del Norte Office Supply in Crescent City, Wright’s Custom Framing and Art Supplies in Brookings and at the door, as are DNACA season tickets which still provide a discount for the remaining four performances of the season.
For more information, contact DNACA at 707-464-1336.