Dear Friend and Supporter,
Three weeks ago, I returned from my yearly visit to our École Fula Flute in Guinea and what I witnessed there filled my heart with joy and reinforced my commitment.
Several great new kids have joined our program, faithful teachers are on the ground daily, wholeheartedly fulfilling their duties. Senior students are growing into good musicians taking responsibility for the younger ones, and some are already performing on the scene. When this journey began I could not have imagined these incredible young flutists.
We were recently graced with many wonderful visits starting with my longtime brother in Fula flute, the American flutist Thomas Vahle, who was in Conakry earlier this year performing with Mory Kante. Thomas wanted to contribute to our school so we invited him to give a workshop which he enjoyed so much that he returned for a few more.
Also, Swedish flutist Nils Lidman, from the group Nyamacool was in Guinea to study with Fula Masters, including our own Fula flute teacher Baba Galle Barry. Nils came by often, spending time in class, playing with students, and finished his trip staying with us at the Center.
A couple of American filmmakers, in the persons of Rich McKeon and Peter Hucey, came by one afternoon and filmed a class. They were enthusiastic about what they saw and we are looking forward to see what they will do with the footage.
An apotheosis of sorts happened in the form of a busload of Great Artists. They were in Conakry to play the excellent FIZZ (Festival International de Jazz), and came by one afternoon. Among them were luminaries Malian keyboardist Cheick Tidiane Seck, Haitian singer Emeline Michel, Martinican percussionist Boris Reine Adelaide, and Jowee Omicil, Haitian saxophonist extraordinaire, and their musicians.
We performed for them and many joined in a jam session. They were happy with our work and pledged ongoing support. Cheick invited a contingent of our students to join him on stage at his Festival performance, which they did the following Saturday at the legendary Palm Camayenne hotel where they played “Soundjata”. Exciting stuff! Magali, my wife, joined us for a week and was equally impressed about how strong and thriving the school is.
The tree is bearing fruit, all parties involved are committed to keep it going and grow, and all of this is only possible because of your support. Your contributions go to the present and future well-being of many people.
Guinea is the soil, we are the tree and you give the water ;-)
Many thanks and blessings to you.