Foday Musa Suso
is a Mandingo
(West African tribe) griot (hereditary musician and cultural curator) who can trace his hereditary lineage back to the first performer on the 21-string kora lute. After a traditional apprenticeship in Africa, he came to the US in 1977 and formed The Mandingo Griot Society
to bring his native sounds to a new, receptive audience. The group included Adam Rudolph
(who recently appeared on Hassan Hakmoun
's Gift of the Gnawa
CD) and had featured jazz trumpeter Don Cherry
as a guest, anticipating world-music fusion many years before the worldbeat era.