Lucy Durán

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Lucy Durán is an ethnomusicologist, music producer and radio presenter. In the 1980s, Durán worked as a curator at the British Library National Sound Archive. She joined SOAS University of London in 1993, and is Senior Lecturer in African music, in the Department of Music. She is the daughter of Spanish composer and civil war veteran Gustavo Durán and the sister of poet Jane Duran.

She was the regular presenter of BBC Radio 3's world music programme World Routes which was on air from 2000-2013 and featured programmes about traditional music recorded on location in countries as diverse as Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea, Paraguay and Albania.

She is the music producer of over twenty record albums, featuring African musicians including renowned Malian Kora player Toumani Diabate: "Kaira", "Djelika", "Songhai 2", "New Ancient Strings" (Toumani Diabate with Ballake Sissoko), "Kulanjan" (with Taj Mahal), and "Toumani & Sidiki" [Grammy nominated]; Malian singer Kasse Mady Diabate "Kassi Kasse" [Grammy nominated]; and ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate "Segu blue", "I speak fula" [Grammy nominated]. Other artists she has produced include singer-songwriter Manecas Costa from Guinea Bissau: "Paraiso di Gumbe", and the 2017 collaboration between the Malian group Trio Da Kali with the acclaimed Kronos Quartet: "Ladilikan" (World Circuit Records).

From 2009-12 she was the director of a film-based project funded by a grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council UK, entitled "Growing into Music". She filmed and directed three documentaries in Mali and Guinea about how children from jeli (griot) families in Mali learn musical skills and knowledge informally through oral transmission. One of the films, ‘The Voice of Tradition: Bako Dagnon and her family’ in 2015 was awarded ‘Best AHRC-funded film since 1998’.

Durán's academic publications include many articles and book chapters covering aspects of Mande music, including the kora, and women singers of Mali.

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