Béla Fleck explores the roots of the banjo across West Africa.
World-renowned banjoist Béla Fleck shared the Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions earlier this year. The expansive 3-disc collection includes a new duo album from Béla Fleck and kora master Toumani Diabaté, titled The Ripple Effect.
Today, we're getting a first look at a track-by-track break down of some of the songs from Throw Down Your Heart—which explores the roots of the banjo in West Africa—and The Ripple Effect. Artists like Mali's Oumou Sangaré, Tanzania's Anania Ngoliga, Madagascar's D'Gary and Uganda's Nakisenyi Women's Group also feature on the release.
"Throw Down Your Heart documents my trip to Africa to interact with great acoustic musicians, and looks into the roots of the banjo, which originated in West Africa and came to the Americas with the slaves," says Béla Fleck. "The title references the prisoners being transported to the slave ships, who 'threw down their hearts' when they realized they'd never see their homes again."