“Chedoe” by Salieu Suso
The song, Chedoe, performed by Salieu Suso, is like poetry and story that is created by the Jali but it is informed by the community. As a djeli or griot, I am equal part oral historian, poet, storyteller, and musician. My art is found in the music, the story being told, the syncopation between voice, and Kora, and the ability to keep the audience engaged and participate.
This recording was created to provide Salieu Suso with a sample of his work for a New York Foundation on the Arts fellowship in the folk arts category. We made this recording in a conference room in the neighborhood of Dumbo, Brooklyn.
One important traditional song for the King Janke Wally is “Chedoe.” This is a storytelling song. The song Chedoe is like poetry and story that is created by the Jali but it is informed by the community. Back in those days there was a Folani king and Mandinge king and they always have problems. There was a war between them. The whole community would gather and listen to Chedoe. When the warriors came back from war, that night, soldiers would come to the king and present their experience in the war. Before this, they would come to the djeli first. The djeli would take their word and create and story. It would help the king understand their experience and reward the soldiers. It helped keep the community connected.- Salieu Suso