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Saturday, May 7, 2016 Options
Osei Korankye's Ghana Seperewa Highlife

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Osei Korankye is the captivating flag bearer of Ghana’s seperewa tradition. The seperewa is a small boxy harp-lute, played by the Akan people (including the Ashanti) of Ghana but (according to musician and musicologist John Collins) its roots are in what’s now the northern part of the Côte d’Ivoire. It’s related to the better known Mande kora as well as other harp-lutes of the sahel. When first brought to Ghana (essentially as war booty) in the early 1800s, the seperewa was an instrument of the Ashanti royal court. But in the ensuing decades it spread to villages. Later when the guitar came to Ghana, seperewa melodies were adapted by guitarists in modern highlife bands.

Osei's spreading the gospel of the seperewa with a great new album on the Awkaaba label. But it's extremely rare to hear this music live in the US. So we're thrilled that Osei Korankye and friends will join us live in the studio just ahead of their two NYC shows: tonight (Saturday May 7th) at 10 pm Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3, 185 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side; and tomorrow night (Sunday May 8th) at 7 pm at Barbes, 376 9th St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Check out Osei Korankye’s new album Emmere Nhyina Nse, a live performance video, and Osei’s chat with John Collins, demonstrating the seperewa and exploring the history of the instrument, at

Big thanks Colter Harper, driving force behind Osei’s album who joins us in the band and on the show today; and to Benjamin Lebrave of Akwaaba music for bringing this and more great music from West Africa to the world - check out their other releases and more at

And extra big thanks to our illustrious engineers, Gil Shuster and Glenn Luttman!

This Week's Playlist:

(* = new)

Edip Akbayram ve Dostlar : Degmen Benim Gamli Yash Gonlume Options / Nice Yıllara Gülüm / Pharaway Sounds / * (0:00:00 )

Shar 'Habeel: Dance and Cheer Options / Various Artists: Waking Up Sheherazade Volume 2 / Ali Baba and His 40 Records (0:05:02 )

Hirut Beqele & Police Orchestra: Ewnètegna Feger Options / Various Artists: Ethiopiques 13 / Buda Musique / * (0:09:28 )

Qwanqwa: Gorage Options / Volume 2 / FPE (0:12:40 )

Debo Band: Ele Options / Ere Gobez / FPE / * (0:20:16 )
GIG: May 18 (Wed) Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn: Antibalas (monthly residency) + Debo Band + Zap Mama. 8 pm.

Imarhan: Tahabort Options / Imarhan / City Slang / * (0:27:01 )
GIGs: TONIGHT @ Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St; tomorrow (Sun) night at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn

Kel Assouf: Azawad Options / Tikounen / * (0:30:46 )

Sandaraa: Haatera Taiyga Options / Sandaraa (0:34:46 )
May 11 (Wed) Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, 196 Allen St: Sandaraa + Bridget Kearney & Benjamin Lazar Davis. 7 pm.

Tarsem Jassar: Ghaint Bande Options / Illuminati / Vehli Janta / * (0:39:59 )

Delhi 2 Dublin: The Happy Track Options / Planet Electric (0:43:05 )

Asala Nasri: Kabart Ala Seedak Options / Shakhsiya Aneeda (A Stubborn Personality) (0:45:37 )

Dakha Brakha: Sho Z-Pod Duba Options / Yahudky (0:51:55 )
GIGs: May 20-21 (Fri-Sat): PACE University Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce St: Dakhabrakha: In concert on Friday night at 7:30; performing a live film score to the silent film Earth on Saturday night at 7:30. Presented by Live Sounds.

Osei Korankye: Welcoming Song Options / Live on WFMU (1:06:03 )

Osei Korankye: Thanks to the Almighty and to Grandfather Options / Live on WFMU (1:10:19 )

Osei Korankye: Emmere Nhyina Nse Options / Live on WFMU (1:14:55 )

Osei Korankye: Amponsah (Live on WFMU) Options / Live on WFMU (1:18:06 )

Osei Korankye: The Unexpected Song about Entertaining and Having Fun Options / Live on WFMU (1:24:24 )

Osei Korankye: A Song About Love Options / Live on WFMU (1:29:27 )

Karavika: Little Road Song Options / Sunrise / Karavika / 2011 (1:35:13 )

Shujaat Husain Khan, Mamadou Diabate, Lalgudi Khan: Sigui Dyarra Options / Strings Tradition (1:41:17 )
GIGs: May 7-8 (Sat-Sun) New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street: The 17th Chhandayan Annual All-night Concert of Indian music; Sunday night May 8 at 8 pm at Asia Society, 725 Park Ave; Saturday night May 15, 11 pm at Drom, 85 Ave A

Saami Brothers Qawwal: Kalam-E-Khusrau excerpt Options (1:46:07 )
GIG: May 7-8 (Sat-Sun) New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street: The 17th Chhandayan Annual All-night Concert of Indian music

Hamid El Gnawi: Fangoro Options / Saha Koyo / Detour (1:49:49 )

Simo Lagnawi: Shemaa Options / Salt / Waulk Records (1:53:25 )

Chartwell Dutiro and Spirit Talk Mbira: Zunde Options / Various Artists: Looking for a New England 2: The Other Traditions / fRoots Magazine (2:02:17 )
GIGs (most with NY ensemble Timbila): Wed at Barbes, Sat at Troost, May 19 at Bar Lunatico; May 28 at Rockwood Music Hall; May 29 at National Sawdust (collaborating with Quintet of the Americas)

Kassoun Bagayoko: Kabako Options / Various Artists: Every Song Has its End - Sonic Dispatches from Traditional Mali / Glitterbeat / * (2:09:07 )

Uncredited (DR Congo Lumba-Shankadi Musicians): Madimba Xylophone Duet - Song About the Chief Options / Various Artists: African Gems / SWP / * (2:15:29 )

Konono N°1 and Batida: Tokolanda Options / Konono N°1 Meets Batida / Crammed Discs / * (2:18:05 )
GIG: Aug 14 (Sun) Central Park Summerstage, Rumsey Playfield, 72 St. (mid-park): Mbongwana Star + Batida + Young Paris + Okayafrica Electrafrique feat. DJ Underdog

Mbongwana Star: Malukayi (feat. Konono N°1) Options / From Kinsasha / World Circuit (2:23:47 )
GIG: Aug 14 (Sun) Central Park Summerstage (as above)

Dizu Plaatjes and Friends: Phalisa Options / Ubuntu - The Common String / Mountain (2:34:12 )

Kasotleha Motlasi: Poriki Options / Various Artists: The Best of Traditional Sotho Music / ARC Music / * (2:39:02 )

Maphuteng: Rea Itsamaela Options / Various Artists: The Best of Traditional Sotho Music / ARC Music / * (2:42:17 )

Victor Prieto: Michelangelo 70 Options / The Three Voices / * (2:46:27 )

Lakou Mizik: Pran Ke Mwen Options / Wa Di Yo / Cumbancha / * (2:52:54 )

Catherine Velienne: Mo Mari Fini Alle Options / Various Artists: Soul Sok Séga: Séga Sounds From Mauritius 1973-1979) / Strut (2:58:00 )

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Email here to JOIN the TSP E-MAIL LIST for giveaways, show news!

If you want to be on an email list for special ticket and music giveaways and to hear news about upcoming specials and special events (including our remote broadcasts from Barbes in Park Slope, Brooklyn - send an email to Rob W here and be sure to write "list" in the subject line.

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Listener comments!

  Sat. 5/7/16 6:08pm Carmichael:

Firsties! Heya Rob and lusteners.
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 6:08pm Bas NL:

Hi Rob!
  Sat. 5/7/16 6:09pm Carmichael:

Haha! Fruedian slip ... Lusting after the music.
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 6:10pm Bas NL:

Well slipped @Carmichael. ;)
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 6:12pm Rob W:

Hi everyone, thanks for listening!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 5/7/16 6:14pm common:

  Sat. 5/7/16 6:26pm nodice:

Rockin' show so far, Rob!
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 6:29pm Rob W:

Thanks nodice!
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 7:24pm geezerette:

Always an education Rob. Beautiful.
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 7:27pm Rob W:

Thanks geezerette!
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 7:37pm Bas NL:

Great music; thanks Osei Korankye! (Can your album be ordered from Europe??)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 5/7/16 7:56pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Was just finally watching Scorsese's George Harrison film :
- so primed for beautiful Indian music!
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 7:59pm Rob W:

Hi Bas! We recorded earlier today... there are links for ordering on the Akwaaba label website but don't know how easy it would be to get a physical cd in Europe (and I don't think there's vinyl). But check out: . Osei is also on an album called Seprewa Kasa which you can find in Europe - it came out on Riverboat Records in the UK. See:
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 8:03pm Bas NL:

Thanks Rob! I'll hunt for it at Akwaaba; we have just lost our great local world music shop.. ;(
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 8:12pm Rob W:

Oh bummer, sorry to hear that Bas... world music shops are a dying breed... for a short while Ayo Osinibi had a world music shop in NY, and we used to have a branch of London's Sterns in NY but both are long gone (the London Sterns shop is gone too, though the Sterns label is still with us)
Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 8:15pm Bas NL:

Ours had been around for decades. I think they now concentrate on online, fairs and special events; without the home base of a shop.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 5/7/16 8:23pm coelacanth:

greetings Rob and others
'patchy listening since 7. Great sounds; i wish i could be fully present.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 5/7/16 8:41pm Scraps deSelby:

H'lo Rob W. That's my middle brother's name. Rob W. Rob W. [shakes head] I'll get used to it....

Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 8:42pm Rob Weisberg:

There are surprisingly fewer Rob W's out there than you would think Scraps! Or are there?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 5/7/16 8:43pm Scraps deSelby:

Hmm, emoji disappeared.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 5/7/16 8:47pm Scraps deSelby:

Well, yours and my brother's are the only ones I've run into!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 5/7/16 8:51pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Another great episode of TSP, Rob. Have a good week.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 5/7/16 8:53pm Scraps deSelby:

Avatar    Sat. 5/7/16 8:53pm Bas NL:

Thanks Rob! It was a great show again! I loved the Sotho tunes.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 5/7/16 8:56pm Scraps deSelby:

I used to go to Barbes from the very first night opened when I lived in Brooklyn. Jeffrey Cobb, a WFMU dj, used to bartend there.
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