Verizon, Alex Avello, Sasha Palladino discussed on Fresh Air
After break. This is fresh air support for npr in the following message. Come from verizon director of corporate social responsibility. Alex avello sheriff's how verizon is helping schools bring technology into the classroom and working to move the world forward for all. We wanted to ensure that students and teachers have access to innovative learning tools and the proper training to successfully integrate them into the classroom. Whether that be in person or in a hybrid setting to learn more go to citizen verizon dot com. this is fresh air. If you're just joining us our guest is banjo player. Bela fleck who has a new album out called my bluegrass heart. I wanted to talk a little bit about throwdown your heart which is a two thousand eight documentary directed by your brother. Sasha palladino and it's about your trip to four african countries. Uganda tanzania the gambia and mali. Where i think the point was you wanted to bring the banjo back to africa. Where it has its roots Because the banjo either. As an idea or is national instrument was carried. Over from to america from enslaved africans. What how much do we really know about the roots of the instrument. I think we know pretty much. I mean we. We know it came from From west africa and came over on the slave ships and oh or the knowledge of how to build it came over on the slave ships and that it when it got when it got here To the americas it changed because of the materials that were here and then it was changed by the people that were here from other cultures. When you were in tanzania you met a famous blind singer and thumb piano player named and aena angola and it seems like you to really hit it off just wondering what's it like to encounter someone who you can't really talk to you because you don't share language and your both your from different cultures and in this case he can't even see you but when you play together there's there seems to be a real bond e-eh and aena is one of those genius musicians. I mean if he lived in the west he would be a superstar. Unbelievable singer unbelievable instrumentalists blazes big thump. Yano that plays a lot of keys and the neat thing. When we got together was how much overlap there really was because he was one of those guys that was so easy to play with One of those repulsive musicians that makes you excited and makes everything you do sound good. But it wasn't so alien to me as some of the things. I heard in some parts of africa like the giant marimba that i heard over there. I didn't know what was going on with that thing. And not only that. I couldn't hear myself. It was so loud but with antonio we were in a small room. His instrument and mind were well balanced. And i understood the language. He was playing in for some reason. I could get there pretty quick and it was a very tricky some of the stuff it was almost like everything was on a suspended chord. Or like a ninth chord. It's called gogo music. That he grew up in and it was one of those life moments. Like i mean for for me. He's one of the special collaborations in my life as well. Let's hear a little bit of that. Collaboration that you had with and this is a song from two thousand nine album. Throw down your heart. The complete africa sessions. And i think you would pronounce this song. Dunia women. We.