Malidelphia is a folkloric performance-art concert that serves to create a bridge between African immigrant and African-American communities through traditional and contemporary song, dance, music, masquerade and folklore. Malidelphia is an ensemble of African and African American professional artists, singers, dancers, and folklorists. Our work is inspired by Ira Bond and his multiple experiences in Mali, West Africa while growing up in Philadelphia. Malidelphia will bring established Malian and Philadelphian musicians together to create an original performing arts project that celebrates both traditional and modern styles of music and dance.
The name “Malidelphia” refers to the connection between Malian and Philadelphian cultural art forms such as Jazz, Blues, Afropop, Hip-Hop and traditional and contemporary percussion. The project showcases the underlying similarities in the artistic expression of people of African descent. By utilizing the violin, the kora, the balaphone, percussive instruments, vocals and chants, we have created a montage of expressions for our professional performing artists to showcase the unique urban and traditional sounds and movement that create the “Malidelphia” style. This project is needed as a way for African and African American populations to communicate, find commonalities, and enjoy shared musical lineages.
This project will fire up a melting pot of traditional and contemporary African American and Bambara (also known as Bamana) music from Mali, and intends to explore and develop new styles and sounds as we bring some of the best musicians from the diaspora for the first time in Philadelphia.