The group Les Freres Guisse will tour again the USA this June 2005. This
acoustic trio is one of Senegal’s premier folk artists.
Les Freres Guisse comprises the Guissé brothers: Alioune, Djiby and Cheikh, who
come from the Fouta in Northern Senegal (in the Matam region, along the Senegal
River). They compose mainly in their native language Pulaar and in Wolof. Their
music has its roots in several different Senegalese and West African cultures.In this Peulh cultural community, where the caste system still exists, each
socio-economic group has its own musical identity: a distinct style, structure
and dance. For example, Pekaan, the music of the fishermen caste, tells the epic
story of Soubalbé fishermen according to whose myth at the bottom of the sea
organizes man’s everyday life. Gambalaa, the music of the hunters, is
incantation as a song – that of the Ceddo hunters, which exalts courage and the
heroic ideal. Dillere is the music of the Maboubé weavers, Yela that of the
Awloube griots, the master wordsmiths, while Rippoo, a genre which crosses the
boundaries of social groups, is, among other things, music for young girls. The
group thus draws inspiration from the fertile fabric of this society, a fabric
rewoven to reveal both mystical and symbolic dimensions.
The Frères Guissé have established a new kind of Senegalese music, one that
is a long way from mbalax. It is essentially acoustic and enhanced by the sounds
of world music, with the emphasis on harmonics.
“Our music is not intended for any people or age group in particular. It
is music for all men and women of all races: like a river, its destiny is not to
turn in on its ethnic circle, but instead to dive into the ocean of world music,
and take on an identity that is open to others. It is the manatee that never
forgets the sea…”.
The complete tour dates are not available yet. A partial list is available