Central Park SummerStage
New York, NY
A full set of music by Béla Fleck and Toumani Diabaté, followed by a screening of the documentary tracing Fleck’s journey through Africa in search of the origins of the banjo. Suggested Donation $5.
The film Throw Down Your Heart follows American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his journey to Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo and to record a new album. Béla’s boundary-breaking musical adventure takes him to Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali, and provides a glimpse of the beauty and complexity of Africa and its music.
Fleck is considered one of the premier banjo players in the world. Throw Down Your Heart, the third volume in Béla’s renowned Tales From the Acoustic Planet series, is his most ambitious project to date. In on-location collaborations with musicians from Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Mali, South Africa, and Madagascar, Béla explores the African origins of the banjo, the prototype of which was brought to American shores by African slaves. Throw Down Your Heart is a companion album to the award-winning film of the same name, which Béla and director Sascha Paladino are currently premiering at festivals nationwide.
Malian musician Toumani Diabaté is an internationally acclaimed Kora (a harp unique to West Africa with twenty-one strings) player. Toumani, perhaps more than any other Kora player, is responsible for bringing this instrument to audiences around the world. A performer of exceptional virtuosity and creativity, Toumani is an artist who shows that the kora can rival the world’s greatest instruments. Throughout Toumani’s career each of the albums he has released are distinctly unique and highlight his diversity and innate ability to join the old and the new in timeless, beautiful music resulting in some of the very best that Africa has to offer.