Tony Vacca - Reflections from Senegal
From my first trip to West Africa in 1972 to this moment, sitting here at the house of Massamba Diop in Dakar, Senegal, my journey has been to be true to the music I imagine, and discover the truths of it's origins across the planet. My hope is that by communicating our ideas one on one, across a room or across the globe, that we grow closer and more intimate in our knowledge of each other.
Over the last 26 years I've been creating music that is as much about me personally as it is about the world I see and hear. Within the traditions we call American, is a world of diversity that is as much about where we are as where we've come from. We, meaning Americans, truly have come from across the planet to be in what we now call our home. So, it's no surprise that our music reflects so many traditions, contemporary and ancient.
This current trip has brought together a diverse group of American musicians, teachers, and filmmakers with an equally diverse group of Senegalese peoples; Wolof, Pulaar, Serer, and Sarakole. From the traditions of village life to the challenges of maintaining family ties and social values in the big city, our Senegalese friends face many of the same problems that our own ancestors faced in America as they moved from farmlands to the urban centers. So, in some ways, this trip has given us a chance to visit our collective past, present, and future, and shape the quality of where we go from here.
It all starts with respect: respect for how our stories are the same and different, for how we solve our problems, and for all we have to do to work well together and emerge stronger than when we began. We're sharing our experiences on this journey with you and now it's your turn to help shape the world.