He asked us to call him Ali. Coming to us in search of music, the story Ali shared of his life in Africa spoke of a traditional kingdom in the desert disturbed by the voice of the gun. What gave these words power and a visceral response for many in the group was the demonstration Ali gave.
Drawn to a fabric that reminded him of home, Ali disappeared, as he wound it to form his homelands headdress. Before us in Kingston East, stood, a war weary prince with a name we could not pronounce, an exile from a troubled land. A mask that radiated both threat and vulnerability, a man seeking a familiar rhythm in the company of others, to remember the good of home, and to drown out the echoes of the gun voices.