Mo’ Mojo, an American zydeco band, concluded its five-day tour of Sri Lanka on February 16 with a high-energy, free, public concert for an appreciative crowd in Colombo. The U.S. Embassy-sponsored visit included public performances in Jaffna and Colombo; workshops for music students; and master classes for Sri Lankan musicians.
“We bring American musicians here to increase understanding of the United States’ diverse musical heritage and to strengthen our cultural connections with Sri Lankans,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap, who introduced the band at the public performance in Colombo. “We are happy to see so many enthusiastic fans of American music.”
Mo’ Mojo conducted engaging master classes for Music Matters musicians, the National Youth Orchestra, along with hands-on workshops for secondary school and university level students in both Colombo and Jaffna. The band also performed live on the ITN show “Venasa.” In Jaffna, Mo’ Mojo performed in a joint public concert with popular local band, Saranga.
Zydeco music comes from the southern part of the United States and combines American folk, Cajun, reggae, rock and roll, funk, African, and Latin rhythms. Zydeco musicians play instruments like the fiddle, trumpet, accordion, saxophone, and the lesser known rubboard, or washboard, a tool traditionally used to wash clothes.
Mo’ Mojo, under the leadership of Jen Maurer, has visited countries around the world through the U.S. Department of State’s American Music Abroad program.