David Taylor Featured in The Washington Post

By IRP Staff, November 15, 2011

Students in a drumming class led by Mamadou Kouyate at La Bouzou, in Segou.Photo: David Taylor

Cara Kelly recently wrote in ArtsPost about David Taylor's article, "In Mali, the Music Scene Is Popping," published in The Washington Post's Travel section. David Taylor reported on malaria and music in Mali on a fellowship from the International Reporting Project (IRP). Noting Mali's unremarkable capital and its place among the 25 poorest countries in the world, Kelly also draws attention to the West African's status as "an international hot spot for soulful music": "David A. Taylor, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1980s in neighboring Mauritania, ventured to Mali recently to visit friends and found ‘a livelier cultural scene than you might expect for the capital of such a poor country.' "When news was passed by word of mouth, the griots were the record keepers of sorts, Abdoulaye Diabate, one of Mali's most popular griots, told Taylor. ‘The griot is the ear of the people and the ear of the king,' Diabate said. "In his Sunday travel piece on the music of Mali, Taylor set off to find out ‘how West African pop and the traditional griots, or storytellers, had fared in the pop era.'" In addition, Kelly highlighted a recording made by Taylor of artist Madina N'Diaye, who was playing in the park when Taylor visited; listen to the recording here.