My two favorite artists at the Lowell Folk Festival James (Super Chikan) Johnson and Bassekou Kouyate did a short set together because their music is related.
The traditional African instrument that Bassekou Kouyate plays (the ngoni) was adapted into the banjo and early primitive guitars by Africans brought to America and their descendents.
Eventually, these instruments were used to create the Blues style of music played by Super Chikan and his band.
Today, Bassekou Kouyate and his band use the influence of the Blues and other music in how they play the ngoni in some very non-traditional ways. (He can wail on that thing.)
After the set, I managed to sneak backstage during the press shoot. =)