World Music Institute has launched an online version of our established WMI PLUS Experiences called WMI PLUS At Home. 


WMI PLUS At Home features artist conversations and demonstrations, and takes a deeper dive into the musical traditions and instruments from around the world from the comfort and safety of your home. These talks will be led by fellow musicians, scholars, radio hosts, DJs and ethnomusicologists.



Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 6 PM EDT

The Music of Mali and the Balafon with Balla Kouyaté and Banning Eyre






WMI PLUS At Home Experiences are free of charge, yet you have to register to reserve your space. When registering online, please be sure to complete your reservation by selecting the PROCESS ORDER button on the REVIEW page. You will receive an email confirmation once your registration is complete. Only registered participants will receive email instructions on how to join the event via Zoom online. Notifications will be sent 24 hours prior to the event. 



This event features Balla Kouyaté (Silk Road Ensemble / NEA Heritage Fellow) and Banning Eyre (Afropop Worldwide) who will discuss the music of Mali,  showcasing the instrument, the balafon. The guests will also be making music recommendations for participants. The discussion will be followed by an interactive Q&A session.



About Balla Kouyaté: Balla Kouyaté was born in Mali and was raised in the Djeli tradition. His knowledge of the traditional Malian repertoire is unparalleled. Today, the first balafon, over 1,000 years old, remains in his family, guarded by his father, El Hadj Sekou Kouyaté. Since coming to the US in 2000, his collaborations with western artists in a variety of musical styles brought the need for innovation. He thus created a chromatic instrument using two balafons. Balla's superior musicianship has been featured on over 45 recordings with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Angelique Kidjo, and Vusi Mahlesela.





About Banning Eyre: Banning Eyre writes and broadcasts about international music, especially contemporary African music. He has traveled to Africa many times, doing research in over 18 countries, and written three books on his research there, including the acclaimed In Griot Time: An American Guitarist in Mali (Temple University Press/Serpent’s Tail), and Guitar Atlas Africa (Workshop Arts), an instructional book on African guitar style, and Lion Songs, Thomas Mapfumo and the Music that Made Zimbabwe (Duke University Press, 2015). Eyre reports on world music for NPR’s All Things Considered and has produced many one-hour programs for the Peabody Award-winning public radio series Afropop Worldwide. 



WMI PLUS and WMI PLUS At Home Experiences are supported by a grant from Con Edison.