Bluegrass Safari 

click to enlarge night07_cheik_hamala_diabate_100.jpg

The ngoni. What is it? Glibly put, it's the instrument that landed West African musical artist Cheick Hamala Diabaté a 2008 Grammy award nomination. Often referred to as the African ancestor to the banjo, this instrument offers an estranged -- and strange — family tie to American music culture. Diabaté, a Mali native, teamed up with renowned American banjoist Bob Carlin to create the Grammy-nominated CD "From Mali to America." This global mingling of pure African melodies with American bluegrass might just be the furthest off the beaten track that Richmond's concert scene has tread this year. The show, hosted by Hotel X, will be held Fulton Hill's Neighborhood Resource Center on Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. $10 donation requested. 864-5797.

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