Kaira Ba (The Great Peace): West African music featuring ethnomusicology graduate student Jonathan Henderson

Monday, August 14, 2017
Marina Poole (T '17) created a documentary exploring Kaira Ba's music and philosophy for the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke

Ethnomusicology graduate student Jonathan Henderson is a member of the band Kaira Ba (The Great Peace), based in central North Carolina.  Griot Diali Cissokho (a member of a family of professional musicians from Senegal), is Kaira Ba's lead singer and kora player.  In her documentary, Marina Poole follows the group from North Carolina, Cissokho's adopted home, to Mbour, Senegal, as the group creates its own, original take on West African dance music.

Kaira Ba has recorded two albums: Resonance, and The Great Peace.  Of The Great Peace, The Independent's (Durham, NC) Grayson Currin writes, "Their anchor is Cissokho’s tradition of storytelling, where the words of a song convey personal and communal histories. And then there’s the radiance of his kora, whose plucked notes prance like those of a banjo or harp. But the band springboards beyond that heritage, putting behind it a composite core of Southern funk and rock, African rhythms and harmonies. There’s big bass and flashy drums, group vocals and piercing electric leads."

Kaira Ba will be featured on WUNC's "The State of Things" on September 22, 2017, and will open for Angélique Kidjo's sold-out concert at the North Carolina Museum of Art on September 23.