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Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate

Joe Driscoll has gained fame over the last decade for his unique blend of folk, funk and hip-hop. Sekou Kouyate, from Guinea, is one of the most innovative and virtuosic players of the kora, the 21-stringed West African harp. When these two seemingly disparate artistic forces are combined, an incendiary musical reaction takes place. They first first met in 2010 at a festival in Marseille, France and their explosive combustibility was evident in their jaw-dropping live shows and energizing debut album, Faya, which was released by Cumbancha Discovery in 2014. Performing as a quartet, backed by drums and bass, Joe & Sekou have performed at hundreds of festivals and venues across Europe, North America and Africa, earning ecstatic reviews whenever they set foot on stage.


Set for release by Cumbancha on May 13, 2016, Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate’s electrifying second album, Monistic Theory, derives its title from the concept that reality is a unified whole and that all existing things can be ascribed to or described by a single concept or system. It's an apt philosophy for this boundary-crossing collaboration, one that brings together two musicians from vastly different backgrounds in search of the commonalities that are uniquely revealed by artistic expression.

 

The UK daily The Guardian recently raved, "African, funk and rap influences combine in an energetic performance. They have developed into a tight, attacking unit, in which the virtuoso kora work is integrated into sturdy playing from the band. Exuberant virtuosic fusion.” Songlines Magazine calls the group, "A boundary-trampling high-octane hybrid in which the lightning fast electrified licks of Kouyate are matched by the explosive energy of Driscoll's rapid fire rhyming.”

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Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate

Monistic Theory
May 13, 2016 — 
BUY NOW: Cumbancha / iTunes / Amazon

“African, funk and rap influences combine in an energetic performance. They have developed into a tight, attacking unit, in which the virtuoso
kora work is integrated into sturdy playing from the band. Exuberant virtuosic fusion.” - The Guardian (UK)

Joe & Sekou's "Monistic Theory"
 

"The second album from the rapper, beatboxer and songwriter from Syracuse, New York and the Guinean kora virtuoso is built around smartly sculpted arrangements on fully-developed new songs. The key lies not in the glorious collision of two contrasting cultures but how seamlessly they are intertwined in a common musical language.
- Songlines

 

Joe Driscoll has gained fame over the last decade for his unique blend of folk, funk and hip-hop. Sekou Kouyate, from Guinea, is one of the most innovative and virtuosic players of the kora, the 21-stringed West African harp. When these two seemingly disparate artistic forces are combined, an incendiary musical reaction takes place.


Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate’s electrifying second album, Monistic Theory, brings together two musicians from vastly different backgrounds in search of the commonalities that are uniquely revealed by artistic expression.

 


Buy The Album
 
Joe & Sekou's "Monistic Theory"
 
Cumbancha Official Store. http://shop.cumbancha.com
iTunes
Amazon
 
Additional Joe & Sekou Links:
YouTube / Facebook / Website

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate Release First Single Tokira From Their Upcoming Album Monistic Theory, Out May 13 Worldwide

February 26, 2016 — 
 
Set for release by Cumbancha on May 13, 2016, Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate’s electrifying second album, Monistic Theory, derives its title from the concept that reality is a unified whole and that all existing things can be ascribed to or described by a single concept or system. It's an apt philosophy for this boundary-crossing collaboration, one that brings together two musicians from vastly different backgrounds in search of the commonalities that are uniquely revealed by artistic expression. 

"Tokira" is Monistic Theory's sing along anthem, the song that will have lighters held high at future concerts. With "Tokira," Sekou reveals he is not just a kora virtuoso, he's also a talented songwriter with a gift for crafting a great melody. Driscoll's lyrics give the song added poignancy, as he reflects on what his 10-year old self would think about where life has taken him so far.
 

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate Continue Their Musical Quest for Common Ground

February 12, 2016 — 
New album Monistic Theory to be released May 13th on Cumbancha. 
  Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate Continue Their Musical Quest for Common Ground

 

"African, funk and rap influences combine in an energetic performance that ends with a powerfully political surge. They have developed into a tight, attacking unit, in which the virtuoso kora work is integrated into sturdy playing from the band. Exuberant virtuosic fusion." - The Guardian 


Set for release by Cumbancha on May 13, 2016, Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate’s electrifying second album, Monistic Theory, derives its title from the concept that reality is a unified whole and that all existing things can be ascribed to or described by a single concept or system. It's an apt philosophy for this boundary-crossing collaboration, one that brings together two musicians from vastly different backgrounds in search of the commonalities that are uniquely revealed by artistic expression.
 
Joe Driscoll has gained fame over the last decade for his unique blend of folk, funk and hip-hop. Sekou Kouyate, from Guinea, is one of the most innovative and virtuosic players of the kora, the 21-stringed West African harp. When these two seemingly disparate artistic forces are combined, an incendiary musical reaction takes place. "Our styles are totally different but complementary," Driscoll explains, "It's like putting baking soda and vinegar together."
 
Joe and Sekou first met in 2010 at a festival in Marseille, France and this explosive combustibility was evident in their jaw-dropping live shows and energizing debut album, Faya, which was released by Cumbancha Discovery in 2014. Performing as a quartet, backed by drums and bass, Joe & Sekou have performed at hundreds of festivals and venues across Europe, North America and Africa, earning rave reviews whenever they set foot on stage.
 
It hasn't always been an easy ride. Music may be their common language, but that doesn't help much with the day-to-day communication needed for touring, recording and promotion. Visa issues have provided a harsh reality check to their utopian vision more then once. Add to that the fact that Sekou's homeland was a victim of the Ebola crisis for over two years, making anyone traveling with a Guinean passport a target of excessive scrutiny. Once, when driving across the border from Canada into the US, the band was detained by border agents in HAZMAT suits, refusing to let them enter the country until they were cleared by medical personnel. A group of spirited, creative people stuck together in a small van for long stretches of hard touring will do more then anything to put the unifying power of music to the test.
 
Yet no matter what happens behind the scenes, the minute Joe & Sekou get on stage or in the studio, all of the travails of daily life in the music industry fall away and magic erupts. While their personal histories and personalities are quite different, there is an undeniable music-umbilical connection that connects these two brothers from another mother. When Joe & Sekou make music together, there is a chemical reaction that is impossible to explain and even more difficult to restrain. 
 
Joe & Sekou's sophomore album, Monistic Theory was recorded at the Cumbancha studios in Vermont during one of the coldest winters on record. While the weather outside was frightening, the studio was ablaze with Kouyate's scorching kora licks, Driscoll's lyrical acrobatics and the potent rhythmic underpinning of drummer Jimbo Breen and bassist John Railton. After years of presenting their high energy, broadly appealing show to stages across the world, the ensemble had settled into a deep groove. This dramatic evolution and solidification of their musical interaction is clearly evident on Monistic Theory, which features a selection of tight, catchy, and funky songs.
 
The album opens prophetically with the sound of trickling water and the voice of Oren Lyons, a Native American author, activist and Faithkeeper from upstate New York, near Joe Driscoll's hometown of Syracuse. "Water is life, water is the foundation of life. It is life. We are water," muses Lyons. From there it's off to the races of the instrumental opener "Tamala," as Sekou Kouyate's fingers fly effortlessly across the kora like water trickling over rocks in a mountain stream.
 
The album's second track, "Just Live" finds Joe Driscoll waxing poetic on his philosophy of life. "Now history's a mystery with the ages unsung / We've forgotten all of their myths, even our mother tongue / Some folks learn to compete, others love to create / Some could eat until content, and yet they leave a full plate … So keep your minds in the moment, the moment in the mind / Open the doors, raise the blinds, cause it's about time / Just live." Rarely has there been such a head-bobbing life lesson.
 
"Tokira" is Monistic Theory's sing along anthem, the song that will have lighters held high at future concerts. With "Tokira" Sekou reveals he is not just a kora virtuoso, he's also a talented songwriter with a gift for crafting a great melody. Driscoll's lyrics give the song added poignancy, as he reflects on what his 10-year old self would think about where life has taken him so far.
 
Other highlights on Monistic Theory include the jaw-dropping kora playing on "Barra" and the inspirational and timely call for unity on "Rising Tide," on which Driscoll sings over a children's chorus, "When we realize / There'll be nowhere to hide / They can't divide once they see we're all one tribe." Driscoll continues to provide words of wisdom on the dreamy jam "Badiya," reminding us "Whether you break or bend / Whether you fade or mend / The only true salvation is love in the end."
 
The album ends with a live, instrumental cover of the Stevie Wonder classic "Master Blaster," although you've surely never heard it played quite like this before. Recorded in front of packed house at the Westcott Theater in Syracuse, New York on a hot summer night, the track demonstrates the remarkable musicianship and unstoppable groove of this astonishing pairing. 
 
There's been a lot of water under the bridge for Joe & Sekou after over five years of collaboration, and neither of them could have predicted that night they met in Marseille that they'd still be making music together this far downstream. "I met Sekou, and I said, 'Hey, man, let's work on this for a while.' It was one of those 'follow the river' things, and I went with it," Driscoll recalls. With Monistic Theory, Joe & Sekou reveal that their odyssey is far from over, and if their fans around the world have anything to say about it, it’s a voyage that will continue for years to come. 

 

For more information, music samples, or to arrange interviews, contact:

Joe Adler at Cumbancha: joe@cumbancha.com / 802-425-2118


Press materials, photos, biographies and more available at www.cumbancha.com/joeandsekou/press

 

Additional Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate Links:
WEBSITE: www.joeandsekou.com
SOCIAL: www.facebook.com/joeandsekou
VIDEOS: www.youtube.com/JoeandSekou
ONLINE PRESS KIT: www.cumbancha.com/joeandsekou/press 

January 05, 2015 — 

2015 tour begins January 29th and continues until end of May

 

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate return to North America on the heels of a triumphant debut in 2014. After the release of their acclaimed album Faya by Cumbancha Discovery and a successful tour in the summer of 2014, Driscoll and Kouyate, backed by bassist John Railton and drummer James Breen, bring their electrifying collaboration to venues across the US and Canada starting January 29th.

 

The well-worn and often overblown expression "music is a common language" has never been more apropos in the case of Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate. Driscoll contributes the rapping, looping, beatboxing and songwriting talents he developed growing up in Syracuse, New York and during his own successful recording career. Kouyate, already a phenomenon in African music circles, has blown minds and ears with his hypersonic electrified riffs on the kora, bringing the exalted West African harp into the 21stCentury with use of distortion peddles, effects and previously-unimagined technical prowess.


"A gloriously accessible collision of styles. It's an unlikely collaboration that works, magnificently.” - The Guardian

 

 

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate Confirmed North American Tour Dates

Check www.cumbancha.com/events for updates


January 29 Boston, MA Johnny D's
January 30 Burlington, VT Arts Riot
February 1 New York, NY Joe's Pub
February 5 Montreal, QC Le Ballatou
February 6 Ithaca, NY The Haunt
February 7 Syracuse, NY The Lost Horizon
February 8 Toronto, ON Lula Lounge
February 12 Dayton, OH University of Dayton
February 13 Bowling Green, OH  Grounds for Thought
February 15 Minneapolis, MN The Cedar Cultural Center
February 16 Chicago, IL Mayne Stage
April 23 - 27  Lafayette, LA Festival International
April 28 Brooklyn, NY BRIC House Stoop Sereies
May 17 Joshua Tree, CA Joshua Tree Music Festival
May 24 Berkeley, CA Freight and Salvage
May 27 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
May 30 Portland, OR Saint David Of Wales Episopal Church
May 31 Redway, CA Summer Arts and Music Festival

 


New tour dates are being added every day, so please check www.cumbancha.com/events for the latest updates.

 

Press Kit: http://www.cumbancha.com/joeandsekou/press

Facebookwww.facebook.com/joedriscollmusic

Videosyoutu.be/DSWvlys0NLE / youtu.be/Xf4oemnMPfw

Website: www.joeandsekou.com


For more details or to arrange interviews, please contact: Seanan Denizot - seanan@cumbancha.com 

   ...read more
February 18, 2014 — 

The collaboration between a rapper/beatboxer/singer-songwriter from Syracuse, NY and an electrifying African kora sensation from Guinea pushes genre boundaries and earns raves. Driscoll and Kouyate blend hip-hop, spoken word, funk, and soulful, accessible rock with Afrobeat, reggae and irrepressible African grooves.

 

"A boundary-trampling high-octane hybrid in which the lightning fast electrified licks of
Kouyate are matched by the explosive energy of Driscoll's rapid fire rhyming."
- Songlines

 

"A gloriously accessible collision of styles. It's an unlikely collaboration that works, magnificently."
- The Guardian

 

Buy The Album

 
Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate "Faya"
 
Cumbancha Official Store. http://shop.cumbancha.com/releases/faya.html
iTunes. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/faya/id811690711?uo=4&at=10laYX
Amazon. http://amzn.to/1bImdMh
 
For More Information Click Read More Down Below
   ...read more

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate Faya UK Tour 2014

January 07, 2014 — 
"A gloriously accessible collision of styles. It's an unlikely collaboration that works, magnificently." 
The Guardian 

The collaboration between a rapper/beatboxer/singer-songwriter from Syracuse, New York and an electrifying African kora sensation from Guinea pushes genre boundaries and earns raves across Europe. 


Debut album Faya out in February on Cumbancha Discovery
Download a Free Track
Watch the "Faya" Music Video
JOE DRISCOLL & SEKOU KOUYATE UK TOUR
Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate
A P R I L
4 Brighton The Blind Tiger
5 Jersey The Watersplash
13 Edinburgh The Voodoo Rooms
15 Manchester Band on the Wall
16 Swansea The Garage
17 Cardiff The Moon
18 Liverpool Kazimier
23 Totnes South devon Arts centre
24 Bristol Colston Hall
25 London London Jazz Café
26 Swindon Swindon Arts Centre
27 Whitstable The Duke of Cumberland
 
 
December 23, 2013 — 
 
The collaboration between a rapper/beatboxer/singer-songwriter from Syracuse, NY and an electrifying African kora sensation from Guinea pushes genre boundaries and earns raves across Europe.
 
"A gloriously accessible collision of styles. It's an unlikely collaboration that works, magnificently." – The Guardian (UK)
 
"A boundary-trampling high-octane hybrid in which the lightning fast electrified licks of Kouyate are matched by the explosive energy of Driscoll's rapid fire rhyming." – Songlines (UK)


The well-worn and often overblown expression "music is a common language" has never been more apropos in the case of Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate. US-born, England-based Driscoll speaks no French and Kouyate, who hails from the West African country of Guinea, little English. When they were brought together at the Nuit Metis (Mixed Night) festival in Marseille, France in 2010 and given a week to produce a concert, music was the only way they could communicate.
   ...read more
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