Ms. Wynne 2020

Ms. Wynne’s class watched and reviewed a performance by Djeli Baba, The Storyteller described here:

Djeli Baba is a phenomenal performing artist and teacher who uses the medium of storytelling to captivate audiences of all ages. Baba’s performances have been described as TEDTalks for the young. His assemblies challenge student’s imaginations while imparting valuable cultural, historical and meta-curricula lessons. His performances are highly interactive, employing a mixture of music, chants, singing, and tales. “Everyone” has an opportunity to participate.

Baba

Adriana

Who is Djeli Baba? 

Djeli Baba is a performer and a storyteller. He has made many performances and has some of them on Youtube too. One of his videos took place online due to the pandemic and is organized by Logan Center for the Arts. His performance was in December of 2020. Baba’s Performance Baba’s Performance was about his stories. Most of his stories were about lessons. For example, one of his stories was to not think about things you don’t know the full meaning of or be careful when making assumptions. I say this because there was a mom worried if her daughter was nice or not. The mom asked for an apple and the daughter bit both of the apples. Her mom was surprised and was about to get mad at her until the daughter said, “This one is for you. It is the sweetest”. 

In the performance, there was no dancing but there was music. The only kind of movement was Baba playing with the strings making the music on an instrument.  The music was coming from an instrument called the Kora. The Kora is an instrument made of wood, pumpkin, and fishing lines. The music is made by the strings. The Kora has one long stick on the top that keeps the lines together and two smaller sticks on the sides that help you hold it. The music is very calm and nice to tell stories with. Baba’s outfit is also important. The costume had a hat with brown square designs. He also had a brown jacket with white squares on it and smaller squares cut into the jacket. I can infer that there was not much lighting so I think there might be one light or two lights on. The lighting wasn’t bad because you can tell that there was at least one light on that had good quality and made the performance look good. Another important thing about the performance is the background. In the performance, I see books, a pot of rocks, and a  plant all on a shelf. There was a painting on the wall and there were small boxes on the shelf. 

I think the performance was nice and calm. There wasn’t much to talk about so I wish there was more to the performance so I can talk more about it and that’s what I wish they could have done better. I like how the Kora made the performance really nice and made the performance a lot better. What I also like is how the kora wasn’t just there for show but Baba did play it so it wasn’t just there in the background and Baba just told some stories so I like how he told stories while playing the kora. I liked it a lot because he told us funny stories and the music was calm. He also showed us things about the Kora like how it works and what it’s made of. The staging was nice because there were lots of things like books and plants that made the performance a lot better then if it was just a room with nothing in it. I feel like the costumes and background really made the performance really pop and made it a really good performance. What I heard was the music with the stories being told and it made the performance what it was. I think the music was the best part of the performance and if you like stories and music, I really recommend listening to Baba the storyteller.  I liked it a lot so if you would like to watch it too, feel free to watch it. I really recommend it.

Jytzel

Have you ever heard about Djeli Baba? No? Well let me tell you, Djeli Baba is a performing artist and teacher that tells stories to all ages. He gave us different stories. Due to the pandemic, I watched the performance online. Many of the artists that go to the Logan Art
Center tell stories. When they stop telling the stories they will usually play an instrument or do another type of entertainment.

When Baba was little he would spend most of his time with his Great Grandfather. They would tell stories and write songs. It inspired Baba to learn more about his ancestry and his roots. When Djeli Baba stopped telling the stories he played the Kora, An ancient Harp. The Kora is a string instrument that has been around for many years. Before Baba told his stories he played the Kora and sang along in the Bambara language. The first story Baba told was about a King Lion being scared of another Lion. Baba always tells us a quote or a message that has to do with the story. In this case, he told us that fear is within ourselves. It is up to us to let that fear go.

Baba was wearing an outfit that is worn by the culture of West African people. Those clothes are called Buba. Buba is one solid color clothing, it could be red, blue, yellow, a bunch of colors. The lighting was good because you can see him well but for my preferences, I like it brighter. In the back of him, there was a table with what seemed to look like souvenirs from all the places Baba has traveled, especially things from Africa. It looked like Baba was telling us his story in his house. Which makes sense because we are
in the middle of a pandemic. The sound was peaceful and quiet because he wasn’t screaming or talking loudly towards the camera.

Also, you could hear his words clearly and there was no echo or anything like that.

I really liked how Baba explained to us what the Kora is and what it’s made out of. Something that wasn’t as effective as much, is the lyrics he sang when he played the Kora. He would say the same words and play the same notes with the Kora. Overall I really
enjoyed all his stories and if I enjoyed them you will too. If you have a chance to listen to Baba’s stories, go ahead.

Yaritza

The person who was telling the story in the video was Djeli Baba who is a storyteller. What was happening in the video is that there is a storyteller telling a story meanwhile sitting in a chair. The place where it took place was in a room and he was sitting in the chair telling the story. The performance was in December 2020 in the Logan Center for the Arts but it’s online.

In the beginning of the video, Djeli Baba was introducing himself. He was also saying what the story was about. Dejli Baba was sitting down in his chair with an instrument and wearing traditional clothes. While Djeli Baba was doing that he was telling a story about a lion and it was scared at first but then it got happy. In between the lines of the story he would sing songs that are based off the story. Djeli Baba would also say inspirational things that match the story like to not give up and to push yourself.

What this performance reminded me of was that sometimes people might be scared of the dark like when the lion was scared and people were just scared like the lion but they got over it. I think that Djeli Baba created this because maybe once in his life Dejli Baba was scared of something or he’s trying to tell people that you should not be scared because you later find out it was yourself that was trying to trick your brain. What the lion was scared of was that he saw his reflection on water but the lion did not know what it was so he got scared.   

My review for this video is a 10/10 because he was trying to inspire people about the lion. I also like the way that he was singing some notes with the instrument he had. I also liked his traditional clothes because I liked the pattern and designs. I also learned that the instrument he was using in the video is made from pumpkin and other natural resources, which was amazing that those things can make a beautiful sound.

Emily

Today I’m going to talk about the performance that me and my classmates watched. The person that was giving the performance was Djeli Baba. The performance was just Djeli Baba telling stories and teaching us about the tradition in Africa. The performance was located online because of the pandemic. The performance was December 2020.

The performer, Djeli Baba, was wearing a traditional outfit that they wear in Africa. The instrument that Deji Baba was playing was a kora. A kora looks like a guitar but it’s a traditional instrument that they play in Africa. The sound was like a calm sound. The music that Deji Baba
was playing in the movement was changing often because he needed to make the music notes.

The performer Deji Baba reminded me of a story too like the one with the 5 grains when you give somebody something in return they pay back. The meaning of the story is that the beggar was kindly offering the king rice so he wouldn’t starve,and in return the beggar found 5 pieces of gold in his bowl of rice. This is why we should not be selfish because you never know if something good and awesome will happen.
Overall, I liked the performance because it was interesting to learn about African music, the clothes and the instruments. It was nice to learn a little more about Africa and their traditional things that they do.

The last few days when we were watching the performance it was
interesting in my opinion. I learned a lot about  African traditions and it was also fun to learn about Africa.

Jose

Today I will talk about Djeli Baba. He is an inspirational speaker. He tells stories and he plays music on a kora. We saw his performance on a video because all of this pandemic was recorded in Los Angeles by Logan Center for the Arts. His performances had unique morals or lessons and he showed us music from different languages.

He was wearing a suit that had yellow, brown, and white The same color as a hat he was wearing. He played an instrument called the kora that was made of  fishing strings and  calabaza/pumpkin. The bottom was a pumpkin. When you play the strings it sounds wonderful. And after he told us he speaks An African language.

One story he talked about was to not be greedy. He had a bowl full of rice and he said to the king you only can take 5 grains of rice so the king only gave him 5 golden nuggets. The lesson is to share if you have something to share because someday you may need help you will get it and that is a powerful message.

To conclude, Djeli Baba the Storyteller did a great job because he showed us how to sing. I really enjoy the story because he was happy telling the stories. One thing that could be improved is  I would like to be in front of the person because then I
could tell my question.