The acoustics of Memorial Hall have been perfect all season, but they really shined in this performance. Youssour N’Dour’s powerful vocals would have overwhelmed many venues, I think. Instead, even I got the sense of being out in the desert from this performance. N’Dour had his own supporting musicians, and they combined well with the those of the Cairo orchestra. The orchestra featured what I think was a kora, a kind of African harp with a large drum-like chamber.
More descriptive information about the performance is available at the Carnegie Hall site, where they performed a few days earlier. The only negative from the Memorial Hall performance was the frequent flashes from audience photography. Photography is usually disallowed for performances, but maybe this was an exception.
During the last song, N’Dour pulled a swaying 3-year-old from the audience onto the stage to demonstrate the natural and universal appeal of the music.