Friday, July 18, 2014

Five Videos Of Gambian Fulani Musician/Singer Juldeh Camara

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features five videos of Gambian Fulani Musician/Singer Juldeh Camara. Information about Juldeh Camara and information about the nyanyeru (riti), the one string violin (fiddle) that he plays, is also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thank to Juldeh Camara for his musical legacy. Thanks also to also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

"Juldeh Camara, Gambian griot and acknowledged master of the one-string fiddle (aka nyanyeru, ritti or riti), is a solo artist, but is often more know[n] for his collaborations with [other] artists...: He is most often associated with guitarist Justin Adams these days (alongside Salah Dawson Miller on percussion).

"Born in 1966 in Basse, Gambia, West Africa, ...Camara has been recognised as the leading ritti player in the world....

The riti or nyanyeru is a one-string violin, originating from the Fulani people. The Fulani are originally a nomadic people and you can find various Fulani people all over the Sahel, from East to West. In Wolof the violin is called the riti, and in Fula the nyanyeru.

”The djinni took his eyes and gave him the violin, the gift to play on it and the gift to see what other people cannot see." This is Juldeh's story about how his father became a musician. Juldeh's grandfather was a hunter, and he wanted his son Serif to become a great hunter as himself, but when Serif was 15 years old he disappeared in the forest. Everyone thought he was dead, killed by the hyenas. One year later his father still went every day to the forest to look for his son. Suddenly he could hear a sound from a tree. He came closer and he saw his son sitting in the tree playing a golden violin. He understood that Serif was hypnotised by the djinni and after many hours he managed to drive the djinni away, but at the same time the violin was gone. Serif followed his father home, but every day he went back to the forest to learn more from the djinni. When the time came, and Serif had become a fully trained musician and Marabou, the djinni took his eyesight in return. Juldeh grew up in Sariyalla in Casamance, West Africa, with his blind jali-father as his teacher. When one listens carefully one can hear the sound of the djinni in Juldeh's music"...
"Jali" = griot

Quoting The Guardian: "Gambian musician Juldeh Camara is a virtuoso on the ritti. In his hands, this rustic, one-stringed fiddle provides a supple accompaniment to his vocals: rolling fables, wry observations and passionate declamations, all sung in the Fulani language. He's an immensely likable performer..."
Click for more information about the one stringed or two stringed fiddle known as "goje", "riti", "nyanyeru" and other names.

These examples are presented in chronological order based on their posting date on YouTube with the oldest dated posts presented first. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find information about the meaning of the two Fulani titles. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Example #1: Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara's "Ya Ta Kaaya"

World Village USA Uploaded on Apr 30, 2008

"Ya Ta Kaaya" from BBC Radio 3 World Music Award winning album "Soul Science"
This is a collaboration between Justin Adams (guitar), Juldeh Camara (nyanyeru) and Salah Dawson Miller (percussion)

Example #2: Juldeh Camara - Nyenyero

nijiidk Uploaded on Jul 1, 2008

Juldeh Camara and Tiramakang Ensemble in Copenhagen - August 2000. More on Gambian Music:

Example #3: Samba & Julde Camara

Sankulay Jallow, Uploaded on Dec 1, 2010

Example #4: Madam Mariama - Juldeh Camara, Justin Adams & Roy Oodds

brummydublinerUploaded on Feb 18, 2011

From 'Horo Gheallaidh'

Example #5: JuJu (Justin Adams Juldeh Camara) Mariama Trance

SasaMusicAgency, Uploaded on Apr 11, 2011

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