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C O N C E R T * P I C K
 
Music

Prince Diabaté

A rooted prong who plugs into any socket, not just the ancient griot traditions of his native Guinea, Prince Diabaté has universal electricty. He plays the kora, a 21-stringed version he built himself, and looking at this big, lacqured spacecraft with its gourd resonator is a show in itself, but the rapid runs and deep rhythms he plucks and slaps out of it will trip you out. He sings, too in a strong marketplace cry that cuts through anywhere. Improbable as it seems, his New Life demonstrates Diabaté's complete naturalness performing any style: Tunes range from reggae to flamenco to a waltz, even, and all have guts. (He gets too cheerful now and then, but that works for the kids.) This crowd pleaser can rivet a room all by himself; for these concerts, though, he'll have help from cousins Adboulaye Diabaté (guitar) and Famoro Diabaté (balafon). The CD notes relate the story of Diabaté as a child, pushing through a crowd and befriending the president of Guinea through his performance. A fairy tale? Maybe not. At the Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Dr.; Sat., March 16, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 17, 3 p.m.; free, but $5 parking resv. required. (310) 440-7300.

-Greg Burk

 

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