Mamadou Diabaté / Diabel Cissokho / Sourakata Koité

mamadou diabate jazzcafe

We celebrate one of West Africa’s most enduring musical legacies in the story telling and playing of the 21-string instrument, the kora and the melodic percussive keys of the balafon. Three of West Africa’s most celebrated players join us for an unforgettable night of ancient music tradition passed down through generations of griot families.

Mamadou Diabate is the award winning balafon master and composer born in Burkina Faso. He is coming from a traditional “Jeli” family of music making and story telling of the Sambla peoples.

He was 5 years old when his professional education began. His virtuosity is outstanding – some people say, he would have more than two hands. Explicit techniques allow Mamadou to play balafon solos, which create the impression, that three bala-fonists play together.

Diabel Cissokho’s musical pedigree is exceptional. He became Baaba Maal’s kora player and he has toured internationally with his family’s band Bannaya, as well as with acclaimed musicians such as Cheikh Lo, Ernest Ranglin and Youssou N’Dour. Diabel has been welcomed everywhere from WOMAD to Glastonbury to London’s Barbican, where he performed alongside Femi Kuti.

Sourakata Koite is a Paris-based kora-player from Senegal. His 1984 debut album En Hollande was recently reissued by Awesome Tapes From Africa to widespread acclaim

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