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In Your Ear Episode 73: Crocodile River Music/Hank, Pattie & The Current

Crocodile River Music band
Crocodile River Music (Photo courtesy of JAMinc.)

This show spotlights the New England collective known as Crocodile River Music, a talented and diverse collaborative dedicated to preserving and celebrating traditional African culture. Mali’s own djembe-master Issa Coulibaly and percussionist Zachary Combs founded Crocodile River Music in 2011 after returning from an inspirational fellowship in West Africa, and as director, Zach works to share the music, art, and culture of Africa with a worldwide audience.

And you’ll be hearing a lot from Balla Kouyate, who was part of the 2019 Richmond Folk Festival, displaying his mastery of the balafon, the gourd-amplified predecessor to the xylophone.

The group brought their irresistible message to Studio A in what would be our last concert with a live audience before the Covid shutdown, recorded in February of 2020.

The 2nd half of the program features Hank Smith and Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw, seasoned bluegrass musicians currently based in North Carolina’s capital city. With Hank on banjo and Pattie on fiddle and lead vocals, they’ve gathered a solid group of players to support their exploration of many American genres tethered to the acoustic string band foundation. Their concert was one of our audience-free live-streaming productions recorded in Studio A on October 23rd, 2020.


JAMinc's In Your Ear concert series presents a wide range of both rising and established artists in an engaging live environment. All the shows were staged and well-recorded in Studio A, until the pandemic prohibited that kind of proximity. Some of this new season of programs were live-streamed for the first time from Studio A with NO audience. You can watch those streams in their entirety here...others were held in Hardywood Brewing's Barrel Room in Scott's Addition. The concert series dates back to 2004 and we're grateful to Carlos Chafin, Andrea Bucheit and Paul Bruski at In Your Ear for their enduring partnership and commitment to live music in our community. We'd also like to thank Catherine Poston and Kevin Willoughby at Hardywood for providing us with such an inviting alternative venue. JAMinc president Tim Timberlake produces and hosts the programs covering a wide range of genres including bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, old time, Celtic, gospel and singer-songwriters of many styles. Concerts are typically held monthly except during the summer...check our website for information and reservations: jaminc.org/events.

Production support for JAMinc Presents In Your Ear is provided by Digital Video Group, Threshold Counsel PC, Fralin Pickups, Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Folklife Program, the Scott Street family, JAMinc founder Wally Thulin, the Robbin  Thompson Endowment for Youth in Music and the members of VPM Music.