Bailo Bah and Sylvain Leroux
Bailo was born in Guinea in 1947 from a Vietnamese mother and a Peul (Fulani) father. They had met in Indochina where his father served in the French Army during World War II.
Bailo learned to play the tambin from his grandfather in the village. One day the grandfather called everybody and declared that he was tired, wasn't going to play anymore and that his grandson was his successor. A ceremony ensued and Bailo played all night until sunrise.
At age 15, having lost all his relatives, mother, father and grandfather, he left his village on foot with one flute in his hand to try his luck in Dakar. The trip then started lasted many years and took him through much of West-Africa: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, all the way to the Ivory Coast where he became a great flutist in Abidjan, the capital of (French) West African music.
Bailo participated in countless festivals, recordings, and tours around the world. He toured the World as a soloist for the Ballets Koteba more than twenty years. Frederick Kaimann from the Star Ledger describes his abilities: "... he sang while playing the flute, sometimes barking out his lines or whispering a tune as he marched forward with a related melody on his three-holed wooden instrument. His range was remarkable, from raspy drive to sweet and light."
In 1988 in Vancouver's International Exhibition, he participated in the "World Drum" event with the Compagnons d'Akati, dance company.
He is the star of the Fula Flute CD -- and of the ensemble of the same name -- released in 2002 on Blue Monster Records (BM-001).
Sylvain Leroux was born in Montréal in the eventful year of 1956. He studied classical music at Vincent d'Indy School of Music and at the University of Montreal. He attended the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY where he was exposed to World music, participating in workshops led by world class artists.
In Montréal, he worked with Yaya Diallo in performances and recording of the LP "Nangapè" and founded and led the group Mysterioso, dedicated to the music of jazzman Thelonious Monk and performed at the Montréal International Jazz Festival (1983). Concurrently, he was a member of Bantamba a group that broke new ground in the meeting of traditional and modern African music.
In New York since then, he has been free lancing for many groups and dance companies in the Afro-Brazilian, African and African-American fields.
In 1995, he took a trip to Conakry, Guinea (West Africa) to study the tambin, the peculiar flute of the Fulani people. He since has become one of the rare outsiders to master this astonishing instrument.
He has recorded with: Takadja on the Juno nominated album "Diye"; Nego Gato; Naby Camara; Mohamed Diaby; Magbana; Martino Atangana; Abdoulaye Diabate; Lucia Hwong; Emeline Michel; and on the 2005 World music masterpiece BataMbira by Michael Spiro and Michael Williams. He also leads the Fula Flute Ensemble. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8524C2C23CDCB25E