Alpha YaYa Diallo

Photos by Eric Porcher
November 2, 2002




Each image below has a larger image linked to it.  Just click on 'em.




I wrote to a dear friend, 

"I'm going up to Cobble Hill tonight to see Alpha YaYa Diallo, with three of my
music-freak friends."


I hadn't planned to take pictures, and had the wrong film with me. But after seeing the stage, and perceiving what we were about to enjoy, I asked the manager. He asked Alpha YaYa, and came back with good news.



After the first song anyone without complete paralysis was on the dance floor.


He came with a scaled-down band,
enough to fit the cosy stage.


After a couple of songs I saw a small door to the left of the stage. I sneaked through and came to an opening right beside the musicians. At the moment Alpha YaYa made eye contact with me I froze, wondering what his response might be. But I was delighted to get the nod, and relaxed and had fun for the rest of the night. Now repeat that with the right film!


a017_22                          a013_18




My film was too slow to freeze the motion of the musicians, and as expected, most of the pictures were garbage. But because it's impossible to capture the music of the moment in a still picture, I do like the lack of sharpness in some of these pictures. I prefer them to most of the flash pictures because of the sense of motion they give, and because they retain some of the stage-light colour. I also didn't want to be annoying people with a constantly-firing flash.



a015_18.jpg (73637 bytes)










Traveling music freaks           






These interesting guys are from a town in Germany and are carpenters, belonging to an old guild. They give a new (old) meaning to the term, Journeyman. For three years, they must venture afar, supporting themselves with their trade, and cannot return to their home town during that time! They wear these clothes wherever they go.




Outside during one of the band's breaks, we had to take a picture of the steam rising off of this dance-sweat-soaked fellow. The camera had trouble focusing on it. I wasn't in quite the same sweaty condition as him, but the music was another good dose of medicine for my inhibitions.





a013_10.jpg (71922 bytes)    
I don't have the names of all the musicians with Alpha YaYa Diallo that night. But I managed to find the bass player's. Vegari Cendar is as enjoyable to watch as he is to listen to. I loved watching the eye contact and other non-verbal communication the musicians had with each other and with the audience. The precision, power and beauty of their music seemed to flow from a harmonious group dynamic. a015_10a.jpg (44059 bytes)  



Here are my favourites








I stood and danced in this choice spot for half an hour, pondering how to take a picture through the large potted pampas grass bush. I needed two hands for the camera, plus one to hold the bush apart, while wanting not to be completely ridiculous and distracting.  a004_7  
a020_5a.jpg (152359 bytes)










I love the way Alpha YaYa Diallo's music
has enough punchy tempo to get a crowd out of their seats,
but with a peculiar beauty, sensitivity and optimism.



  Check out the official site, and maybe buy a CD.  I have "The Message" and "The Journey" and recommend them both.  The other two are on my wish list.   - check out some audio or video samples here





Concert Photography

Swine Hall

Contact Eric

Created: Dec. 2002   Last updated: February 01, 2005

2002 Eric Porcher - All rights reserved.