House Concert No. 13
Lamine Sonko & One Africa
15 June 2013
Sonko & One Africa played a house concert for us last August, we said
that we hoped they'd be back soon, but little did we know it would be so soon.
It was a chance meeting with Lamine, Ousmane and Seydou at the Bar Ousou,
a Senegalese restaurant in Brunswick, when Jonni and I just happened to go there
on what turned out to be Senegal Independence Day, that made us feel we were desitned
to get them back sooner rather than later.
When Ibrahima Dainka (President of the Australian Senegalese Association) offered to cook
a Senegalese feast for the musicians and our family on the night of the house concert,
we did wonder how it would all come together. A kitchen full of willing hands
is obviously the way to make it work.
Ibrahima wore his best apron to make sure we had confidence in his cooking skills!
The full quote reads "It's taken years of practice to burn the food to perfection".
While most of the action was in the kitchen, grand daughters Abbey and Ella wasted no time
investigating the fascinating instruments.
And grandson Archie happily helped his Uncle Damo
keep an eye on progress in the kitchen.
Then the feast was ready, and just enough time for a quick photo of the team before
getting down to the serious business of eating.
We all tucked in, and the food was great. However, the concert goers soon started to arrive,
which didn't do much good for Jonnie's stress levels. Fortunately, Ibrahima had been very generous
with the catering, so many of the early birds were able to sample some of the feast..
Lamine, Ousmane and Seydou had played, sung and danced for us once before, but this time
they brought their friend Amadou to play the wonderful kora for us. Made from a hollowed out
gourd covered with a drum skin, it has twentyone strings, which Amadou tunes by ear.
Its wonderful tone is perfect for the more reflective songs they started with.
But soon the tempo quickened and Seydou just had to get up and dance.
Ousmane sits tucked to one side with his drum collection,
so he often misses out in photos.
It's a miracle that Lamine and Seydou can find enough room for such brilliantly
flamboyant dancing, but they make it look almost easy.
We feel so fortunate to have such a generous group of musicians grace our home
in their drive to share the culture of their African traditions.
Of course, with this great music, we all had to get up and dance. It's lucky that Jonni's injured
Achilles tendon has mended enough for him to join in.
And it's fortunate that the room has a very high ceiling once Lamine lets loose!
It was an unforgettable evening - the music, the feasting - and the friendship of these lovely men.
And a special thankyou to my daughter Heidi, who took all the photos for us.
To find out more about Lamine Sonko go to his Facebook page at