Saturday, Nov. 13 at Airdance Artspace (3030 Isleta SW, all ages, 8 p.m.): Prince Diabaté has been called "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora," a true innovator on the instrument. He and his former musical partner, vocalist Amara Sanoh, began wowing local audiences in 1997, making regular appearances at Outpost Productions' Fall Fundraiser for several years consecutively. Diabaté's masterful fusion of funk, reggae Caribbean rhythms and the traditional sounds of his Malinké roots in Guinea, West Africa makes his some of the freshest, most danceable music going.
And while the kora itself—a large-bodied stringed instrument plucked with the thumbs and forefingers of both hands—is something of a curiosity, Diabaté's technical wizardry with the instrument and his mastery of it are sorcerer-like. The sounds you'll hear emanate as much from the soul of the man as they do from the instrument he plays. His most recent quintet includes a guitarist, bassist, flutist and two percussionists, which underscores the promise that Prince Diabaté is about to provide Albuquerque with the dance party of the decade.