Jayme Stone: Africa to Appalachia

Mansa Sissoko & Jayme StoneFollowing John’s recent post concerning the upcoming release of Africa To Appalachia, the Los Angeles Times Music Blog conducted an interview with Jayme Stone recently.

The interview was published last Thursday. The primary focus is an exploration of the connections between American banjo/folk music and traditional African folk music.

An aspect of the interview I found particularly interesting is the discussion of how traditional African folk music is beginning to disappear due to the influence of more contemporary music forms.

…everyone wants to play electric guitar or drums and listen to rap. Those who have access to those things get affected by it. Sometimes the pop music that makes it over there is the more commercial, less musical stuff, and a lot of tradition is being lost. I met a 70-year-old elder musician in one village who put his hand on my heart and said, "The work you’re doing is so important, and young people aren’t doing it."

Sounds very similar to sentiments I’ve heard expressed right here in the south-eastern US concerning the current state of bluegrass music in America. Small world…