The Common Good
August 2009

Listen to More From Banjoist Béla Fleck

by Béla Fleck | August 2009

The film Throw Down ...

The film Throw Down Your Heart documents a journey through Uganda, Tanzania,Gambia, and Mali that began when banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck decided to take his instrument back to its roots. Those roots seem to be in West Africa, where a stringed instrument called the akonting is said to have departed on a slave ship from the Gambian port of Banjul. The idea for a trip to Africa began to form when Fleck "discovered where the banjo originally came from," he says. "I developed the suspicion that some of the greatest acoustic music on earth is hidden in the small villages in Africa." From the film also came an album. Click below to hear "Tulinesangala," the first song from the album.

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