I’m back in the UK after a great trip to the Gambia and the Casamance region of Senegal helping organise two music festivals.
The first festival was in Kartong where for the first time we managed to get the local organising committee to do most of the pre-planning and organising themselves – this will eventually mean the festival will be able to go ahead without us – essential if it’s survive into the future.
The second festival at Dombondir was amazing – it was inspired three years ago by the Kartong Festival and the local people work very cooperatively to make it happen and despite a few setbacks it went well in the end. There was a great wrestling championship as well as local cultural music and dance troupes.
There’s so much I could write about my experiences there but I just don’t know where to start really! I always feel so at home there and the friendships I’ve developed over the years there feel as deep as any in the UK – although we only get to meet for a few short weeks of the year.
I spent many hours playing my flute with my friend Moriba and I’m going to compile a CD of Kora and Flute music over the next few months and put it up on www.myspace.com/moribakuyateh.
There are loads more photos on my Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=203171&id=637503707&l=f8cc8285b4