One of the ladies going to Guinea Bissau with us plays the banjo and if I'm not mistaken she recently purchased a N'goni (Xalam)
Today, Maritza, our contact in Guinea Bissau notified me that she has located a local musician who will find our lady an instrument and have it ready in the next few weeks and...he has agreed to meet us to give her a lesson or two while we are in Guinea Bissau. What a treat!! I'll be sure to take pictures and video and post when we return.Xalam, also spelled khalam, said to be an ancestor to the American banjo is the Wolof name for a traditional stringed musical instrument from West Africa. The xalam is thought to have originated from modern-day Mali, but some believe that, in antiquity, the instrument may have originated from ancient Egypt.
I also hope to post an interview and get more information to share in the coming months. In the meantime, here's a message she sent me a few weeks ago:
"It's Official! "Give Me The Banjo" will be broadcast on PBS stations on October 5 (check your local listings for show time in your area). Narrated by Steve Martin, this documentary was funded by me and a bunch of other banjo players and friends. Some of the people featured in this documentary are my mentors and friends. Please watch!