Our Fundraiser was a success! Thanks everyone!
Stay tuned for album release info; planned for early Spring 2014
Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba needs your help to produce their second full-length album.
The hottest new kora-led international music group on the block is finishing raising the money to record and self-release a wonderful collection of new music, bridging sounds ancient and modern.
Come hear the magic and help us bring this project to life!
Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba creates and performs music inspired by the ancient West-African griot tradition. The band features Senegalese griot Diali Keba Cissokho—a vocalist, percussionist, dancer, and master of the kora (a 21-string African harp). Diali hails from a famed lineage of musicians and storytellers traceable to the 14th century in his native West Africa.
The band is rounded out by four outstanding North Carolina-raised musicians — Austin McCall, Will Ridenour, John Westmoreland, and Jonathan Henderson, each bringing their own musical influences to bear. Kaira Ba’s distinctive sound is reminiscent of the great West African dance bands – bursting with unison melody, adventurous improvisation, fiery solos and polyrhythmic frameworks.
Others have described the band like this:
“Kaira Ba has a sound that will blow you away…. at once unique and universal.”
- Frank Stasio, host of The State of Things on NPR.
“Kaira Ba just might be the state’s next great export.” - Grayson Currin of the Indy Weekly.
“The powerful vocals and kora of Diali Cissokho place this album firmly in the tradition of great Senegalese musicians such as Baaba Maal & Youssou N’Dour.” – Merge Records owner Mac McCaughan on Kaira Ba’s debut album, “Resonance.”
“Cissokho & Kaira Ba create a universally appealing sound full of bright tones and driving polyrhythm.” - Paste Magazine.
Why you are reading this!
We’ve been humbled by the wonderful reception people have had for the band since it’s inception in 2010. We are turning to you again to ask for your support. We believe that we have something truly special to share with the release of our next album, but we need some help to pull it off. Any gift you’re able to give will go a long way towards growing the reach of the band’s sound and it’s message of love, unity and peace.
Details about the album you are (considering) supporting:
Between October 13-17, 2013, we will be tracking our album at the Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC. This place is amazing! It’s owned by Mitch Easter (R.E.M., The dB’s) and looks like this:
We will be working with the talented engineer Jason Richmond (Nnenna Freelon, The Beast Big Band, Mamadou Diabate), who will be tracking and mixing the album. It will have 11 to 13 songs on it, and here’s a sampling of songs you’ll see:
1. Fallou: A song to give thanks to Fallilou Mbacke, an important figure in the Baye Fall sect who is seen and celebrated as a guardian angel. Watch on YouTube!
2. Mbolo: loosely translated as “Unity”… This piece is about how there is great power when people come together to raise their collective voice. Watch on YouTube!
3. Bamba Wo Te Na: A piece about Amadou Bamba, the founder of the Baye Fall sect of Sufi Islam in Senegal, that celebrates his teachings and legacy.
4. Mère Khadi: Mere Khadi is Diali’s marabout, or spiritual leader. This song gives recognition and appreciation to her and others that look out over us.
6. Al Hadji: a song about Diali’s brother who was a great musician, who passed away too young, at age 23.
7. Talibe: based on a melody that’s been passed around Diali’s family for generations and is about orphaned children in Senegal. Watch on YouTube!
8. Sida: a piece about AIDS and it’s sustained impact in Africa.
9. Balla Gueye: A piece about Diali’s favorite Senegalese wrestler, Balla Gueye.
One of the toughest parts of producing and releasing a record by yourself is getting financially organized! We have detailed our budget below so you can see exactly where each penny we make will go. As you can see, the bulk of the cost is designated to tracking and mixing the music. We love to work and spend locally, so we’re doing our best to minimize driving and to be as economical, deliberate, and thoughtful in choosing who to work with.
|Tracking Session – Jason Richmond and The Fidelitorium, Kernersville NC||3000|
|Overdub Session and Guest Musician stipends – Jason Richmond||1500|
|Mixing Session – Jason Richmond||2000|
|Mastering – Studio B, Charlotte NC||1000|
|Duplication and Manufacturing – Discmakers||1400|
|Design – TBD||300|
|Promotion – local and national||300|
The money we hope to make from the sale of these CDs goes directly back into the band, to help us on tour with gas and food, to help produce merch items like T-shirts and stickers, and to help maintain Baba, our beloved tour van:
We’re asking you to give, but you also get to receive!!!
Here are some things that we’re offering you in exchange for your contribution:
$10 — BIG THANKS + SHOUT OUT!
Good karma and a very heartfelt thanks from the Kaira Ba family! We’ll post a thanks and shout out to you on our Facebook Page!
$15 — DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
A full digital download of our new Album prior to the official release date.
$25 — CD
A hot-off-the-press, brand new copy of the CD prior to the official release date. For non-US addresses, please add $5 to your pledge so we don’t lose too much money on international shipping. Thanks!
$35 — RECIPES + DOWNLOAD
$45 — T-SHIRT + RECIPES + DOWNLOAD
A Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba T-shirt (either design — you pick: Baobab Tree or Elephant!) + Download of Album, and the Maafe and Yassa Recipes on a card.
$50 — TICKETS + DOWNLOAD
Two tickets to our album release show in Winter/ Spring 2014 (or another show of your choice pending approval; must be redeemed by June 1st, 2014) + Download of Album.
$50 — DRUMSTICKS + DOWNLOAD
Get a pair of drumsticks used in the recording session and autographed by the band + Download of Album.
$55 — SHIRT + CD + RECIPES
A Kaira Ba T-Shirt (subject to size and color availability, but we’re good about that!) + a new copy of the CD + our recipes of Maafé and Yassa on a nice card.
$65 — HOODIE + CD
A brand spankin’ new, 1st Run, Kaira Ba Hoodie + a CD.
$75 — NAME A CHICKEN + CD + RECIPES
Name one of Diali’s chickens and receive a photo or video of her in her full chicken splendor + a CD + Recipes.
$100 — THANKS CREDIT + SHIRT + CD
A “special thanks” to you printed in the liner notes of the album and on our website, plus a t-shirt and a CD.
$150 — DINNER + CD
A dinner for 2 with the band in Chapel Hill, NC. We will prepare for you (and teach you how to make if you’re interested) the best Senegalese food and drink that you’ve ever tasted outside of the motherland (get yourselves here, and we’ll take care of the rest. Date/Time to be negotiated between you and the band) + a CD.
$200 — LESSONS + DOWNLOAD
Two 45-minute music lessons at our NC studio (or over Skype) from one of our band members. Choose lessons on either Kora (by Diali or Will), Guitar (by John), Bass (by Jonathan), Drum Set (by Austin or Will), Djembe (by Will or Diali), Congas (by Will), or Calabash (Austin). Dates and Times to be negotiated with the band. + Download of Album.
$350 — DRUM PIECE + SHIRT + CD
In your honor, Kaira Ba will compose, record, and send you an original, mind-blowing 2-min drum/percussion piece (we retain copyright ownership) + a t-shirt and a CD.
$500 — KORA SONG + SHIRT + CD
Diali will compose, record, and email you a personal solo kora song in digital format (he retains copyright ownership) + a t-shirt and a CD.
$750 — KAIRA BA SONG + SHIRT + CD
The band will compose and record a song in your honor and email it to you in digital format (we retain copyright ownership because it may end up on our next album!) + a t-shirt and a CD.
$1,000 — BE A PRODUCER + BUNDLE
We will honor you with a “Producer” credit in the liner notes of the CD and on our website + an autographed CD, T-Shirt, and the Recipes.
$1,500 — LOCAL CONCERT + CD
Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba will play an hour-long house concert for you and your friends (must be within a 100-mile radius of Chapel Hill, NC and organized by YOU! We will even provide all sound equipment. Must be redeemed by Sept. 1, 2014.) We’ll throw in a copy of the new CD as well.
$2,500 — BE AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER + BUNDLE
We will thank you with an “Executive Producer” credit in the Album liner notes and on the Kaira Ba website. Plus CD, T-Shirt, Recipes, Download and a Hoodie.
$5,000 — CONCERT + EVERYTHING!
Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba will travel to play a 2-hour concert that you organize. (You must provide the sound system, concert must be within an 500-mile radius of Chapel Hill, NC. Must be redeemed by Sept. 1, 2014. Date to be negotiated between you and the band). Plus ALL the other perks you want!!!!
If you can’t give: Share!
What’s most important is that the word gets out to people that you know who have the means to donate/invest in a project like this, and would feel empowered in doing so. This is perhaps the best way to help us!
Thank you so much for your consideration and possible involvement in our project. Please feel free to contact us for any reason at the email below.
Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanna know more and hear more about us? Read on!
Check out our music video for “Mali Sadio”:
Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba on MUSIC & BORDERS:
For a better idea about who we are and what are music is like, check out this particularly eloquent bio written by Sylvia Pfeiffenberger on behalf of the Hopscotch Music Festival:
“Combining passionate originality and fierce authenticity, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba take West African dance music into new territory—literally, the North Carolina Piedmont. That’s where Cissokho, a griot born to a family of professional musicians in Senegal, makes his transplanted home.
The repertoire is pure Manding, the centuries-old musical culture of Cissokho’s ancestors. It’s reformulated with modernizing impulses in a rock band format: Agile basslines interweave with the melodic twins of kora and electric guitar, undergirded by an explosive rhythm section of djembe and trapset drums. Kora master Cissokho is also the group’s vocal frontman. His electrifying voice propels songs old and new about timeless themes of mythology, migration and universal love. In fact, “universal love” is a rough translation of “Kaira Ba,” a promise the band communicates live.
The kora itself, a jumbo spike-lute with skin-and-gourd resonator, is handed down within families in West Africa. There, it represents a hereditary musical tradition of moral and spiritual gravitas. Cissokho maintains this heritage while walking his own path, playing with youthful fire and acrobatic effect. His North Carolina collaborators—Will Ridenour, Austin McCall, John Westmoreland and Jonathan Henderson—are diversely trained musicians who share a longtime love of African and African-based music.
As a result, Kaira Ba has enjoyed a meteoric rise in its first two years of existence. In 2012, the band recorded Resonance, a shimmering studio album that captures all the drive and intensity of its live performances. The band has quickly become a hot ticket at festivals, museums and music venues across the Eastern U.S., touring as far afield as New York City and Senegal. Wherever they play, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba summon audiences to the dancefloor with a bonanza of euphoric West African grooves, all inflected with funk, soul, rock and music of the Black Diaspora.”
Kaira Ba’s Communiqué from the Road #1:
How to Make a Kaira Ba SETLIST!