Géwël in Boston

January 15, 2010

Prof. Robert Bellinger and Lamine Toure.

Prof. Robert Bellinger and Lamine Toure. (Prestige Image)

The two months of the Faye family residency as Distinguished Visiting Scholars at Suffolk University were amazing. Along with the Géwël Tradition Project the members of the Faye family – Moustapha Faye, Aziz Faye and Malick Ngom – introduced the Suffolk University community to the saber tradition of the Sing Sing Géwël family through classes, presentations, lectures, films and performances. Additionally, they gave classes, workshops, presentations and performances throughout the greater Boston area. In some instances they provided people with their first exposure to saber drum and dance. But in quite a few cases, people came out because they were already familiar with saber. And in the Boston area, they most likely gained their familiarity from Lamine Toure or a member of his family – Chiekh Ngom, Yeumougor “Paa” Seck, and Babacar “Moha” Seck.  They are based in the Boston/Cambridge area and through their classes in saber dance and drum, and their traditional and popular performances, they have created and maintain a saber presence here. Since 2002 Lamine Toure has been resident artist in the ethnomusicology department at MIT where he is founder and, along with Patricia Tang, co-director of Rambax MIT, a student saber ensemble. Lamine is also the leader of the local mbalax band Group Saloum.  Lamine, and the other members of the Mbayène family, have allowed people to experience the power and beauty of saber drum and dance and to learn about the géwël tradition.

The sustained presence of Lamine Toure and the Mbayène family was enhanced by Moustapha Faye and the Sing Sing family’s visit; the Faye family’s residency was given additional depth by the presence of Lamine’s family. After all, both families are géwël. And in addition to their shared géwëlness, members of the two families know each other from Senegal. It was an incredible experience to have members of two of the most significant géwël families in Senegal here in the Boston area together. There was strong sabar energy in the air. The wonderfulness of this was illustrated in the various collaborations that took place. This includes Paa Seck inviting Aziz Faye to teach class during his regular class time; members of the Faye family sitting in with Group Saloum at the Beehive; Lamine Toure inviting Moustapha Faye to take over teaching one of his drum classes; the Faye family taking part in Rambax MIT’s end of semester presentation; Lamine Toure joining the Faye family in the end of semester Celebration of Senegal at Suffolk University. If you came to any of these or the many other sabar events, you understand the energy that was generated. If you were not able to attend, there are a few photographs and video clips from some of the presentations posted below.

The Géwël Tradition Project is especially grateful to Lamine Toure for all of his support during the Faye family residency, particularly the teranga that he and Patricia gave. The Project would also like to extend thanks to Chiekh Ngom, Paa Seck, and Moha Seck for all their sharing. Lastly, the Project wants to thank all of you who support the Géwël tradition by coming out to events, taking classes, buying CDs, and reading the Géwël Tradition Blog.

Moustapha Faye plays with Lamine toure and Group Saloum, at the Beehive.

Moustapha Faye plays with Lamine toure and Group Saloum, at the Beehive.

Aziz Faye dances to Group Saloum at the Beehive.

Aziz Faye dances to Group Saloum at the Beehive.

Malick Ngom and Moustapha Faye play with Group Saloum at the Beehive.

Malick Ngom and Moustapha Faye play with Group Saloum at the Beehive.

WITH RAMBAX MIT, December 4, 2009

Lamine Toure with Rambax MIT.

Lamine Toure with Rambax MIT.

Aziz Faye, Moha Seck and Moustapha Faye play together.

Aziz Faye, Moha Seck and Moustapha Faye play together.

Paa Seck and Aziz Faye dance together.

Paa Seck and Aziz Faye dance together.

Rambax MIT finale.

Rambax MIT finale.


CELEBRATION OF SENEGAL,  December 10, 2009.

Moustapha Faye, Kimani Lumsden, Lamine Toure and Malick Ngom play.

Moustapha Faye, Kimani Lumsden, Lamine Toure and Malick Ngom play.

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