Sudanese singer and musician Mohammed Osman Wardi died Feb 18 at the age of 80. More here
Live in Addis Ababa, 1993:
And halfway across the world, North Carolina fiddler Joe Thompson died Feb. 21 at 93. More here
Thompson was the prime inspiration for the Carolina Chocolate Drops who will be releasing a new album next month. As the “bio” piece on their website notes:
In the summer and fall of 2005, three young black musicians, Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, and Justin Robinson, made the commitment to travel to Mebane, N.C., every Thursday night to sit in the home of old-time fiddler Joe Thompson for a musical jam session. Joe was in his 80’s, a black fiddler with a short bowing style that he inherited from generations of family musicians. He had learned to play a wide ranging set of tunes sitting on the back porch with other players after a day of field work. Now he was passing those same lessons on to a new generation.
When the three students decided to form a band, they didn’t have big plans. It was mostly a tribute to Joe, a chance to bring his music back out of the house again and into dance halls and public places.
Here he is, with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, playing “John Henry” in 2007: