As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Brooklyn Comes Alive is back and bigger than ever this September. The unique homegrown event has curated an extensive lineup of dream team collaborations, tributes, artist passion projects across three popular Williamsburg, Brooklyn, venues (Brooklyn BowlMusic Hall of WilliamsburgSchimanski). But for its third annual edition, the festival has expanded to two full days of music featuring 100+ artists in 35+ group configurations spanning a vastly diverse spectrum of genres and styles. Today, we’d like to shed a little light on Future Folklore, a special collaboration that folks will not want to sleep on.

For Future Folklore, Luke Quaranta of Toubab Krewe and Weedie Braimah will bring together artists from Mali, Senegal, Ghana, and American artists studied in West African music pay tribute to traditional Mandé folklore. The pan-west African djembe ensemble of drums will take center stage with Braimah on lead djembe, Quaranta on dunun & kenkeni, and Themba Mkhatshwa on sangban. Magatte Fall will add the Senegalese sabar drum and tamani, as well as djembe, while Nate Werth brings congas and percussion into the mix. MonoNeon—the last bassist for the late musical legend, Prince—is set to hold down the low-end on bass, adding a special musical element to this worldly music extravaganza.

Weedie Braimah Djembe Solo

[Video: Barry2theB]

The over 800-year-old djeli (griot) tradition of West Africa consists of a network of families, musicians, and praise singers who act as historians and carriers of the culture. Also on tap are Yacouba Sissoko and Abdoulaye Diabate, who come from two famous djeli families, Sissoko and Diabate, respectively. Both from Mali, the two are amongst the foremost djelis living in the United States today. Yacouba plays the kora, a 21-string harp lute played for nearly a thousand years, and Abdoulaye is a singer in the djeli tradition. In addition, Raja Kassis will be on electric guitar, bringing a myriad of experience in West African styles, specifically the modern Senegalese style of mbalax music. Rounding out the lineup is Sam Dickey. He is steeped in the music of Mali and will play another harp lute central to the djeli culture, the djeli ngoni, and some guitar as well.

Clearly, Future Folklore is set to be a truly special set, gathering musicians from around the world to celebrate the sounds of West Africa. The show’s musical directors, Weedie Braimah and Luke Quaranta, are two of the most renowned players of West African music in the United States. When asked about his upcoming Future Folklore set, Weedie Braimah said, This show brings djembe to the forefront. I want to show people what this music is about and how we are moving it into the future. For too long as percussionists, we are the last one hired and the first one fired. Percussive music of Africa and the Caribbean is at the root of much of American music, so I want djembe and djeli music to be respected and understood in this country.”

Luke Quaranta adds, “Many of us in this group share in common the experience of playing West African traditional music here in the US. Yacouba and Abdoulaye were born and raised in Mali of djeli families now living in the U.S.; Magatte from a Senegal family raised with a strong connection to his djeli roots in Los Angeles, California; Weedie, born in Ghana, grew up playing traditional music in St. Louis; Themba was born in Baltimore raised and trained in African drum and dance ensembles; and Raja, Sam, and I were raised in the U.S. and collectively have taken over a dozen trips to West Africa. So I think all in our unique way we are part of this tradition and moving it forward in this country. Add Mono and Nate who are both masters of their craft and who also play percussive-centric music in Ghost Note, and I think it is a very interesting group of artists to bring together to present this music.”

Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive is set to take place across three venues in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Brooklyn BowlSchimanskiMusic Hall of Williamsburg) on September 23rd and 24th. The unique homegrown event puts the focus on the musicians, curating dream team collaborations, tributes, and artist passion projects for two full days of incredible music both new and old.

The 2017 lineup is set to include hand-selected band lineups featuring all-star musicians like John Scofield, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Vinnie Amico and Al Schnier (moe.), Bernard PurdieKofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Joel Cummins, Ryan Stasik, and Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), Mike Greenfield and Jesse Miller (Lotus), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Alan Evans (Soulive), Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers), Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Reed Mathis (Electric Beethoven), Michael League, Nate Werth, Chris Bullock, Robert “Sput” Searight, and Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), and scores of others!

***Tickets Are On Sale Now!***

Brooklyn Comes Alive is now offering single day tickets, as well as a ticket payment plan for as low as $30/month. When checking out, just select “Monthly payments with Affirm” as your payment method. To find out more about ticketing, VIP options, and lodging, head to the festival website.