Rhythm Nomad

Gokh-bi System


The music of GOKH-BI SYSTEM of Dakar, Senegal is both ancient and contemporary. These six young musicians have combined their traditional drums with the music of the nearly forgotten ekonting; a beautiful and haunting string instrument from southern Senegal. To this sound, they add their unique four and five language rhythm-poetry, their unusual city and village dance styles, and a decidedly urban form of hip storytelling. The result is something that the members of Gokh-bi- System call Ekonting Rap. It's a heady blend of griot-magic and street-wise survival tactics. It's American rap meeting up with the African branch of its family tree. It's American hip-hop meets Senegalese mbaalax on the dance floor, on the festival stage, and in the dusty fields of back country Africa. It's traditional, it's innovative, and it's an open invitation. It's how and why Gokh-bi System is uniquely Senegalese. They balance the lessons of tradition with the tradition of innovation. As part of the Senegal-America Project, they've been touring with Tony Vacca, Massamba Diop, and World Rhythms since December of 1999, presenting diversity workshops and performances in schools and concert halls.

Their workshops include: "Traditional Drum and Dance," "Rap/Spoken Word Collaborations," "Culture and Survival in Guinaw Rails."