Kane Mathis / Andrew Oliver duo
Kane Mathis – kora, vocals
Andrew Oliver – piano
Bringing together the unlikely combination of kora and piano, Kane Mathis and Andrew Oliver interpret both traditional West African music of the Mandinka people and original compositions, using the wide range of both instruments to create a full sound that is both dense and transparent. Kane’s training in both African and Western music allows him to authentically interpret traditional repertoire and bring new stylistic elements to the kora with equal ease. Andrew’s thorough study of Mandinka music has enabled him to develop a piano style which blends seamlessly with the kora, creating a unique orchestral texture. The duo’s arrangements incorporate traditional and modern African repertoire and breaks as well as jazz elements stemming from Andrew’s musical training in New Orleans. They frequently add guest percussionists including Kora Band drummer Mark DiFlorio for added texture and groove.
“Mathis’ and Oliver’s duets blended together so seamlessly, it sounded as if one giant 109 stringed harp was being played by a four armed musician; not being able to see who was doing what almost made it more interesting.” – Seattle Weekly
“Cerebral enough to form complex interplay between the traditional kora sounds and modern piano sounds, but more importantly, being able to fuse the musics into something that is at once modern, thoughtful jazz and innovations upon traditional music.” – All Music Guide