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The HAYLOFT at Dragonfly Barn presents Dave Kobrenski and Jed Wilson
The HAYLOFT at Dragonfly Barn
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The HAYLOFT at Dragonfly Barn presents Dave Kobrenski and Jed Wilson
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Doors open at 7:00 pm, Show starts promptly at 7:30 pm

Dave Kobrenski & Jed Wilson's collaboration brings together traditional West African and contemporary American styles, creating a vibrant and eclectic musical ecosystem. Kobrenski will perform on traditional African flutes and string instruments, accompanied by Wilson on acoustic piano. Kobrenski and Wilson will be joined by Portland-based drummer Jacob Forbes.

Woven into the evening are demonstrations of many of the instruments he learned to play while living in West Africa, including the Fulani flute, kamale ngoni (a 10-string Mande harp), djembe, and more. At the events, Dave will also be showing his art and will have copies of his new book Djoliba Crossing available, along with handmade Fulani flutes, and information on how to purchase prints of his artwork.

DAVE KOBRENSKI (https://davekobrenski.com/)
Artist, musican, and author Dave Kobrenskis presentations combine music, storytelling, visual art, and photography into an entertaining and informative cultural experience. Based on his extensive travels in West Africa, where he studied traditional music in the Niger River valley in Guinea over a 10 year period, Kobrenski tells lively stories from his adventures, talks about social and cultural issues, and makes an argument for why cultural diversity may be one of the most important human assets we have on the planet.

Jed has been an active performer since his teenage years in Portland, Oregon. He received a bachelor's degree in jazz performance from the New England Conservatory, where he formed a long-standing musical partnership with jazz vocalist Dominique Eade. The two have toured widely, and in 2006 released a critically acclaimed CD that appeared on many of the year's top-ten album lists. More recently, Jed has performed extensively with singer/songwriter Heather Masse. The association with Masse has resulted in a host of appearances across North America, including multiple appearances on NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion."

Jacob is from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, has been an active musician since 2007.  He is currently a music student at the University of Southern Maine studying Music Performance, with a concentration in Jazz Studies.  As a drummer, he has worked with a variety of organizations including Maine State Musical Theater, The UNE Players, Maine Public Radio, Windham Center Stage, The Fogcutters Big Band, and The Choral Art Society.  He is also a member of many active groups in Maine such as the Tom Luther Quintet, OC and The Offbeats, the Emmett Harrity Trio, Domino Vocal Jazz, The Larry Williams Band, and his own group The Forbes Quartet.


The Fula flute (known as tambin in the Fula language) is a little-known type of flute with its origins in West Africa. Traditionally played by the Fulani people of the Fouta Djalon region of Guinea, it is also been incorporated into the traditional music of the Malinké people, who primarily inhabit regions of Guinea and Mali, and live in close proximity to the Fulani.

The tambin is a three-holed flute constructed from a conical vine that grows along the Niger River and in the forest region of Guinea. Its embouchure (mouthpiece) is typically constructed from a special beeswax mixture, which is heated and shaped to the flute and the players liking. Often decorated with cowry shells and other decorations, the vine is sometimes covered with leather or other skin, to strengthen the flute and protect it from cracking.

The tambin is a beautiful instrument both in sound and appearance, and is capable of creating stunning and often profound melodies. It uses a scale that is roughly equidistant (consisting of seven whole tones), and has four registers that are accessed by variations in breath (ie, overblowing), with a total range of roughly an octave and a half. While the scale of the traditional Fula flute does not match our Western scales precisely, it can approximate a diatonic scale and when played with Western instruments (guitar, etc), the tambin adds a tonal coloring that is unique and interesting.

The kamale ngoni is type of West African stringed instrument, constructed from calabash (or wood) for its body and bamboo (or other wood) for its neck. Harp-like in nature, the kamale ngoni is a derivative of the older and more traditional donso ngoni (hunters harp), originating in the Wassoulou region of Mali. The donso ngoni, played primarily for hunting ceremonial occasions, has six strings and a deep, haunting sound.

A relatively new invention, the kamale ngoni was created as a modern derivative of the donso ngoni within the last 50 years, as a means of playing popular music. Tuned higher than its donso equivalent, the kamale ngoni (literally, the young mans harp) often has 8, 10, or 12 strings. Its creation gave rise to the genre of popular music know as Wassoulou music, for the region from which it comes, and is heard in modern music throughout West Africa today. Artists such as Oumou Sangare, Issa Bagayogo, Salif Keita, and many others have use the kamale ngoni in their music with much success.

The kamale ngoni is typically tuned to a pentatonic scale. Its two rows of strings are plucked with only the thumb and forefinger. Traditionally, the strings were made of stretched gut, but today it is quite common to see the ngoni made from nylon fishing line. Other instruments related to the kamale ngoni are the cora (21-stringed harp) and the bolon (3-4 stringed bass harp).

The djembe is a skin-covered drum made form wood that is played with the bare hands. Originating in what is now Mali and Guinea, the djembe has a great history for the peoples there and has much significance both musically and culturally. The djembe likely has its origins with the Malinké blacksmith caste (known as Numun). According to the Bamana people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying Anke djé, anke bé which means everyone gather together in peace. (source: Wikipedia)

The djembe shell is constructed from a solid piece of wood, and traditional woods include the Lenke (or Lingué), African Mahogany (Acajou), Bala wood, or Melina wood. Goat skin is stretched across the top, and rope woven between and metal or leather rings are used to attach and then tighten the skin, achieving a range of sounds.

Traditionally, three sounds are created on the djembe; from low to high: the bass, tone and slap. Players of the djembe in West Africa (know as djembefola) spend many years perfecting the technique of the djembe. The music played on the djembe is complex and has evolved over many centuries, and typically the djembe accompanies three bass drums: dununba, sangban, and kenkeni. Together, these drums can create complex polyrhythmic patterns.

The djembe has received much widespread attention in recent decades, due to the rise and success of several of the national ballets (performance troupes) that have come from West Africa. These troupes have also had their stars; djembefolas like Mamady Keita, Famoudou Konate, Fadouba Oulare, and many others have continued to perform and teach their music to students around the globe.


Tickets $20 online, $25 at the door
Seating is limited

For more information: 207-749-6160
or Email events@dragonflybarnmaine.com

The Hayloft at Dragonfly Barn
95 Sanborns Grove Road
Bridgton, ME 04009


The HAYLOFT at Dragonfly Barn (View)
6 Hillcrest Avenue
United States



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