Afropop Band

NEW! Fall semester 2018!

Directed by Karl Haas, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music.

The group is brand new, playing 20th and 21st century music from various parts of Africa with a pop/rock instrumentation. Afropop is a dynamic and diverse blend of traditional African music with R&B, rock, pop, reggae, hip hop, funk, EDM, and many other Western and Afro-diasporic styles. Trademarks of these exciting styles are catchy melodies and simple harmonies set to rich polyrhythms. This semester we will play classic and contemporary popular songs from several different countries, including Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, and South Africa.

This semester we are privileged to be able to work with a griot singer/songwriter from Mali, Boubacar Diabaté, who will join us for some rehearsals and the final concert. Originally from Bamako in Mali, West Africa, singer, guitarist and storyteller Boubacar Diabaté comes from the Mandinka lineage and has combined traditional rhythms with modern influences to create his own style of contemporary Malian Griot music.

We will learn the songs by ear and create our own arrangements—most songs use three or fewer chords and pentatonic melodies. There are no prerequisites. The ability to read music is not required. This ensemble is open to the public, and students do not need to register.

Electric guitars, bass, keyboards, horns, and vocalists of all genders are needed in particular. African and non-traditional instruments also very welcome. Seeking students who might be interested in learning a new style, working on their ear training, strengthening their sense of rhythm, and making music as a group.

For info:

Department of Music

Mahaney Center for the Arts
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753