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On the Road with Bob Holman, Episode 1| 28mins
Director: Ram Devineni | Producer: Bob Holman
Focus Years: 2012 | Country: United States
Subject Tags: africa, belief, community, culture, united states
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
A griot (gree-oh) is the keeper of the West African oral tradition and the tribe’s genealogy through poetic songs. Bob is invited to Gambia by his long-time friend and teacher, Papa Susso, to learn more about this musical art and see how the kora, the 21-string harp-lute is made. Bob travels up the Niger River with Papa’s son, Karamo, also a griot, in search of the spirit of the African-American Beat poet, Ted Joans, who lived a buoyant life in Timbuktu in the '70s and was Bob’s mentor. Along the way, Bob discovers the roots of hip-hop, rap, the blues—all the great American musical traditions that originated in Africa. The episode concludes with a kora-guitar jam session between Karamo and Ali Farka Toure’s son, Vieux.

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Ram Devineni

United States


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