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Renowned Zydeco Artist Terrance Simien Takes Mardi Gras To Mali Through Carnegie Hall's Global Encounters Program
Published December 6, 2006

From Bamako To The Bayou brings students and musicians on two continents together.

World-renowned Zydeco artist Terrance Simien and his band, The Zydeco Experience, will bring the flavors and sounds of the genre, the indigenous music of Louisiana's Creoles to the African nation of Mali for a series of performances and educational events in the cities of Bamako and Segou December 10 - 19.  Sponsored by the The Weill Music Institute, Carnegie Hall's education department, the excursion to Mali will culminate on December 19 with a distance learning event that will connect the musicians and high school students in Mali with their counterparts in New York City through videoconferencing technology. 

The event is part of The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall's Global Encounters program, which brings music from different regions of the world, into New York City high school music and social studies classrooms.

This year's event "From Bamako to the Bayou," takes place on December 19 and will emanate simultaneously from the Centre Culturel Francais (CCF) in Mali's capital city of Bamako and from Zankel Hall in New York City.  While Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience are performing in Mali, Malian singer and international star Oumou Sangare will perform in New York. The venues and the student audience at each location will be linked by video. In addition to several scheduled learning events in both countries, both artists will perform at concerts that are free of charge and open to the general public.

"Louisiana and West Africa share a deep history and heritage," Simien explains. "Two-thirds of the Africans who originally came here were from this beautiful land and their important contributions have helped define the cultural identity of our state. This is a rare and wonderful opportunity for us as cultural ambassadors of Louisiana and the US. We are very honored to be part of the most progressive educational program on the planet: Carnegie Hall and The Weill Music Institute's Global Encounters."

Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience will arrive in Mali on December 10 and will visit the school in Bamako, where they will perform and present educational workshops for the students. They will travel then to Segou for additional school visits, as well as perform the first of two free concerts. Simien and his band then return to Bamako for a second public performance and the final distance-learning event before returning to the U.S.