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If you think the blues begins and ends in the Mississippi Delta, you’re only partly right. Blues music and its earliest practitioners are rooted in Africa. When the slavers brought their sorrowful ships full of stolen African people to the Americas, with them came their music. Those African traditions became the basis for today’s blues, jazz and rock.
Markus James has traveled to West Africa many times, tracing the music’s lineage to the cradle of its birth. He went as a scholar and musician and an advocate for the musicians he discovered. There, he has not only honed his own craft, but has helped develop worldwide exposure for African musicians such as Solo Sidibe, Hamma Sankare, Hassi Sare, Massamba Diop and Wassonrai, a group featuring Mamadou Sidibe and Amadou Camara. James’ music is rock that incorporates traditional African instruments and rhythms. With every note, he melts borders and minds.