Andrew Nemr and Yacouba Sissoko
Parallax: noun- The effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions.
What happens when you pair two storytellers together? Two great stories, right? What happens when one is an American tap dancer and the other is a Malian kora player? For the second installment of the Parallax Conversation Series, we found out as these two master storytellers of different mediums got together for a spontaneous reaction to the word "Jazz."
Get to know the participants!
Andrew Nemr, mentored by Gregory Hines, is considered one of the most diverse tap dance artists today. Andrew has garnered a reputation for impeccable musicianship and sensitivity, and respect for the craft that he loves. Andrew received an NEA Masterpieces: Dance Initiative Grant to reconstruct the works of classic tap dance soloists, garnering critical and popular acclaim upon their presentation in Echoes In Time. An experienced soloist, Andrew has performed in various venues nationally and internationally including the Blue Note Jazz Club, NY, Town Hall Theatre, NY, The Duke Theatre, NY and more. Andrew was featured alongside Jazz greats Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Hank Jones, James Carter, and John Faddis in A Great Night in Harlem at the Apollo Theatre, NY. He has also been the featured tap dancer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra presenting Duke Ellington: The Sacred Concerts, and with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. Andrew performed regularly with the legendary Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club, NYC. Andresw is also a founding member and dance captain of Savion Glover's TiDii.
Yacouba Sissoko is a Master Kora player from the Djely griot tradition. He was born in Kita, Mali. His grandfather, Samakoun Tounkara, began teaching Yacouba when he was 9 years old.In 1993, Souleymane Koli,the leader of the Ensemble Koteba of Abidjan recruited him. Yacouba spend the next 5 years performing all over the world with this 45-piece band. In his career, he has traveled to almost every nation on the African continent, as well as most of Europe, Canada, the US and Australia. He is in demand as one of the best kora players in the world, playing with jazz, Latin and R & B bands as well as traditional African ceremonies. As leader of his own band, Siya, and member of the group Super Mande, Yacouba continues to record with many famous musicians, including the groups Source, Tamalalou and Fula Flute. Currently, Yacouba plays with a variety of well known artists such as Regina Carter, Awa Sangho, Rachel Brown, Kavita Shah, Kakande and Leni Stern. Yacouba also has had the opportunity to record with Harry Belafonte and Paul Simons. In addition, Yacouba works in partnership with La Maison d'Art Gallery in Harlem as a collaborator in bringing some other musicians as part of the galleries' events.