Music: The Mandingo Ambassadors—this time with horn section—play afternoon benefit concert for guitarist Mamady Kouyate Sun., May 12, at 3 PM

The Mandingo Ambassadors, led by Guinean guitarist Mamady Kouyate, play Best Video Performance Space on Sunday, May 12. The afternoon show starts at 3 PM and the cover is $10. This show is a benefit for guitarist Mamady Kouyate, who needs to raise funds for an emergency trip to his native country of Guinea in Africa.

This show will feature an expanded version of the group that played Best Video in March. Along with the two guitarists, bassist, drummer, percussionist, and vocalist who played last time, The Mandingo Ambassadors will be joined by their horn section for this show. So if you enjoyed that show—and it was impossible not to—expect an even more powerful rendition of authentic African dance music this time!

An African jazz band with beats to make chairs obsolete and melodies to put your mind at ease! At their Connecticut club debut at Best Video in March, The Mandingo Ambassadors filled the packed house with joy!!

The Mandingo Ambassadors was founded in New York City by griot-guitarist Mamady Kouyaté in 2005. As a veteran of the great orchestras of the golden age of Guinean dance bands, Kouyate is a living library of musical science inherited from his ancestors and from a half century of experience as an arranger, band leader, accompanist and soloist.

The band for this show will be: Mamady Kouyate (lead guitar), Mamady Kourouma (rhythm guitar), Nick Cudahy (bass), Andy Algire (drums), Jocelyn Pleasant (percussion), Seny Tatchol Camara (percussion), Aaron Latham Greenberg (vocals), Eudy Fernandez (trumpet), and Oran Etkin (sax and clarinet).

ABOUT THE BENEFIT: Since he arrived in this country 20 years ago, guitarist Mamady “Djelike” Kouyate has sent every spare cent he has made back to his family in Guinea to help build them a house. Construction had begun, and was progressing well, but a few weeks ago, a hurricane leveled everything. Now his family of over twenty people are crammed into inadequate (even by Guinean standards) temporary lodgings, and the Guinean government is threatening to repossess the plot on which the house is built unless Mamady himself travels to Guinea to personally plead his family’s case. In order to make the government’s deadline, he must leave by May 15th, but he can’t afford the $1800 airline ticket on his own. All the money taken at the door and the donation vase will go to helping Mamady Kouyate afford the round trip plane fare to Guinea.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: The Mandingo Ambassadors, led by Guinean guitarist Mamady Kouyate, to play authentic African dance music Fri., Mar. 22

Mamady Kouyate of The Mandingo Ambassadors.

The Mandingo Ambassadors, led by Guinean guitarist Mamady Kouyate, play Best Video Performance Space Friday, Mar. 22. The show starts at 8 PM and tickets are $10. Advance tickets are available through BrownPaperTicket.com.

An African jazz band with beats to make chairs obsolete and melodies to put your mind at ease! Check out NYC’s magnificent Mandingo Ambassadors in their CT debut at this last of the old school video stores!!!

The Mandingo Ambassadors was founded in New York City by griot-guitarist Mamady Kouyaté in 2005. As a veteran of the great orchestras of the golden age of Guinean dance bands, Kouyate is a living library of musical science inherited from his ancestors and from a half century of experience as an arranger, band leader, accompanist and soloist.

Mamady Kouyaté carried this heritage with him to New York where he has collaborated with members of the West African diaspora and Western musicians to continue the great tradition and sound of Guinean Afro-jazz.

Since the summer of 2008 the group has been in residence at Barbes, performing every Wednesday night at this well-known Brooklyn venue. In addition, they have performed at many clubs, events and festivals including Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Celebrate Brooklyn, and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

In a review of a show at Barbès in 2008, New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff wrote:

The music of the Mandingo Ambassadors has been structured to make you feel good. It puts dazzling vocal and guitar patterns over a rhythm section that is like a perfect system: a locked drum groove, much of it played on high-hat cymbal and drum rims; soft bass lines that fall short or start late, or leave gaps in a run of notes; fingerpicked rhythm guitar notes like clear fizz. In the small, square backroom of Barbès on Wednesday — as it will be next Wednesday and for Wednesdays to come — the music sounded loud and light and unfailingly right…

It could have gone on forever, and that was a nice thought.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.