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Sindoolaa

Sindoolaa

  • By Oumar Sagna
  • Release 17/05/2005
  • Music Genre International
  • Media Format CD
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Price: £18.07

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Oumar Sagna from Senegal, West Africa grew up in the midst of African traditional music as it has always been a daily part of his people's life. Drumming, singing and dancing accompany celebrations, cultural and religious ceremonies, farming and community gatherings. He was raised by his grandmother in a small village at the border of Senegal and Guinea where he had mostly been influenced by the Guinea Malinke Culture popular for it's Djembe drumming and dance. Oumar learned to play various instruments very early on. Being from the Joola tribe of Casamance, Oumar learned to play the main musical instruments of his village people : The Bolong ( a big log of tree carved in the middle and played on the rims with soft wood, the set of four big drums called Bougarabou and the set of three drums (Kotiro). He later on decided to persue Djembe drumming . Since there was no junior high or High school in his village (DIATOCK), he had to go to nearby cities to continue school and eventually get a Bachelor's degree in French and English at the University of Dakar, along with a teaching degree at Ecole Normale Superieure teacher training college in Dakar Senegal in 1996. It is mainly in the Cities of Senegal that Oumar met most of the drumming groups and excellent drummers he worked with to sharpen mainly his Djembe Drumming techniques. Oumar came to America in the fall of 1997 as part of an international teaching exchange program. First in Maine, he gained the eye of the media and made it to the front page of the main local papers, was heard on the radio and appeared on TV several times . He then came to Milwaukee in the fall of 1998 where he resided since then. Once in Milwaukee, he soon was discovered by Milwaukee Public Theatre and was among the cast of 'Tales from The Nile,' an African based tale play. He is still working with that company as an independent contractor . He provides services in schools and organizations as a percussionist, story teller and dancer. Oumar does artist in residence programs and is a true ambassador of his culture. He is currently the chairperson of the Milwaukee Montessori School Foreign Language department where he teaches French from grades K through 8 Oumar wanted his first CD to be a tribute to the people of his village back in Senegal. Therefore, he returned home in the summer 2004 to record the first layouts of the CD with the women and the most wonderful percusionnists on the field ( his village and the neghbooring towns). His 10 pages CD booklet has texts and color pictures to feature and detail this music with all the culture around it.He made sure to explain in depth the fontions of the Rhythms and instruments used as well as the meanings of the songs. Much of the postproduction done in Milwaukee USA and London, UK added other western intruments to it . Some tracks feature him and his friends of the Batiyage drumming and dance ensemble currently working as main entertainers for the President of the Gambia (west Africa). The live recording in Africa was made with the help of his Friend Tobias Sturmer, an excellent sound ingeneer and musician originally from Germany and currently iving in England. Some of the earliest articles written about Oumar Sagna in USA are below . 'They (the students) are really friendly with me . Whenever they see me they say, 'Mr. Sagna, Mr. Sagna.' I like it here. People are friendly....I don't feel homesick because people are the same-just like home.' Learning Africa Visiting teacher shows students his way of life By DOUG HARLOW Staff Writer OAKLAND - The first time Oumar Sagna stepped on an airplane from his home in Senegal, West Africa, he was aimed straight for Oakland, Maine. The French language teacher, artist and musician has been wowing students here ever since with his colorful outfits, his African drums and songs, and his teaching style, which puts students center stage. Sagna even got to see snow for the first time on October 22. 'They say it's still warm now, but for me, in Senegal, it stays 60, 70, 80 degrees,' Sagna said in an interview with the other day at the Atwood-Tapley Elementary School. Sponsored by an exchange program of the Amity Institute with grant money from the Oak Grove Foundation, Sagna arrived in Oakland the first week of September. Candace Hill and Steve Collins of Oakland are his host family. Sagna spent a week in Amy Peterson's music class and a couple of days at a school in Sidney and at Messalonskee High School teaching students the sounds and rhythms of his native. Africa. 'For the last two months Oumar has taught students African dance, shared African songs, demonstrated the use of other African instruments and described African landscape through sand and watercolor drawings,' district administrator Lisa Stoutz said. The visiting teacher's duties in October included a dramatic presentation of an African folk tale in French with Atwood-Tapley students as players, a music concert called 'It's a small world' with third graders, and a fourth-grade Art-Club sponsored puppet show last Thursday. In teacher Laurel Powers' third-grade class recently, Sagna was busy at the chalkboard, instructing students in the culture and language of French speaking Africans.He speaks four languages-English, French and two of the Senegal's many languages : Jola and Wolof . The children were fixed on the visiting teacher, who earns a Masters degree in English and French at Dakar University, Senegal.He was dressed in a long native shirt called 'sabadore,' or 'bou bou,' and a matching knit cap. ' I think it's nice because he is speaking French,' said third-grader Hanna Patten after the class. 'It's a different language and he is really different.' ' We learned the arts of Africa and the songs they sing, too, and how he play the drums,' added her classmate Sarah Smith. Peterson who is on the committee that selects a visiting foreign teacher each year, said Sagna was the clear choice the year from a rich field of applicants. The visiting teacher of 1996 was from Japan. 'Oumar's dossier was very impressive with music, art and language,' she said. 'his English-language skills are very good.' 'For Sagna, all the attention he is getting these days is something new but he likens the warmth and friendship he is receiving to a concept called 'teranga,' or hospitality, that is traditionally practiced in his homeland. 'They are really friendly with me,' Sagna said of the students, who seem to gather around him wherever he goes. 'Wherever they see me they say 'Mr. Sagna, Mr. Sagna.' I like it here. People are friendly. 'I don't feel homesick because people are the same-just like home,' he said. Sagna said he can close his eyes these days in Oakland and hear the children around him and feel the rhythm of life as if he were home in Senegal, where he lives with his mother and eight brothers and sisters. When he opens his eyes and sees all the faces of Maine children around him, he feels the same joy he remembers from home. 'I am happy to see that people welcome my culture,' Sagna said. 'This is a small world after all.' Sagna will continue teaching in Oakland schools until November 7, when he is scheduled to leave for Morse High School in Bath, where he will teach until June. Coastal Journal February 26, 1998 . Volume 32 . Number 9 A Lesson on Senegal Area Children Learn More About the Culture and History of a Far Off Land. By Jon Pataki With school vacation happily upon many of the children in the area the kids and undoubtedly the adults, were looking for something to do besides sit home and watch television. Well, thanks to the Children's Library in Bath, the kids the kids got a good opportunity to learn a bit about another culture and meet a teacher at Morse who acted as an ambassador to their young worlds. The man who provided the entertainment and cultural insight was Oumar Sagna. Oumar is a teacher assistant at Morse High School in French, his country's national language. He grew up in Casamance the southern region of Senegal, received his college education in Dakar, the capital city and is spending the year here to teach the students and give people a greater insight into his African nation of Senegal. There were about 40 children and adults who made it into the library in South Street. Oumar began by telling a little bit about himself and his home country of Senegal. Many people in the group, children and adults alike, were misinformed or had misconceptions about what life in Senegal was like. There no lions and tigers running all over the place. And they do have mail service(a question an adult asked). The luxuries are nowhere near as prevalent as they are here in the United States, but they do have schooling for those who desire it and you can go to supermarkets. Just when you get outside the cities does it get rural and wilder. For those planning to go, you can go see lions and cheetahs at wildlife preserves in the southeastern part of the country. Oumar passed around some of the pictures of Senegal he had and the children were all eager to take a look at them. Next came the storytelling. It was uplifting to watch the wonderment and excitement on the kids faces as a very animated Oumar told tales of his country of Senegal. The first was about the mosquito and the lion. The children had to buzz like the mosquito and roar like the lion. Giggles and roars were erupting from the library walls and reverb3rating off the library's wall throughout the storytelling. It wasn't the kids only who enjoyed this performance. The parents and grand parents who were in the audience got a kick out of it too, though I have to admit, they were not half animated as the children. A big part of Senegal culture is the ceremonial clothes they wear for special occasions. Oumar dressed 3 of the kids in the country's ceremonial garb and put on his robe himself. Then came the music. And the kids, with a little more work, could have fit in with the ceremonial dancing. Next came a return to the drums. Earlier Oumar had given a brief performance on his drums, which he plays with both his hands, much like we would with the bongos . at first some of the kids needed to put their hands over their ears, worried and scared about the noise of the music. But as they became more used to the drums their little hands slowly lowered and they were able to sit and listen as the drum beat and you saw smiles as they felt the drum beat inside their chests. Being kids they were sure they could play the drums themselves; it looked easy enough. So Oumar called a few of them out there to try it out. And low and behold, keeping a beat is a little harder than it looks. Once the kids had mastered the art of beating a drum (or as much as can be learned by little kids in 5 minutes), it was now time to try to mimic one of the driving rainstorms that pushes across the country of Senegal. Now as the beat and sound slowly increased to a pounding crescendo, you could almost imagine the rain pushing and driving away across a far off country in western Africa, a place these kids can hardly imagine, only knowing about it by looking at it on a map. This activity enabled the kids not only to get out of the house during vacation (an undoubtedly welcomed respite for all parents), but also to learn a bit more about another country and another culture they know nothing about. Opening up these young minds is often a tough task; but one that is so important and a task that Oumar Sagna had no trouble doing and, like all the kids, loved the whole time. Photographs The kids who came to see Oumar Sagna were mesmerized by his talk and lessons on Senegal and it's culture. (Photo by J.Pataki) A lesson on the drums w.as just one of the things that Oumar Sagna taught the kids at the Children's Library last week . (Photo by J. Pataki). Carrie Bell-Hoerth (left) and Lindsay Nelson enjoy some of the dance instructions given by Oumar Sagna last week at the Children's Library in Bath. (Photo by J. Pataki)

Details

Artist: Oumar Sagna
Title: Sindoolaa
Genre: International
Release Date: 17/05/2005
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 825576859223
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