Toumani Diabaté


One of the hottest World music stars to come out of Africa performs in this rare and intimate Birmingham concert.
‘Toumani Diabaté is the alchemical genius of the kora, endlessly testing the boundaries and possibilities of his instrument, establishing himself as one of the world’s most innovative musicians without losing sight of his roots.’ Daily Telegraph

‘…can transcend melodies, spiralling off with flights of intricate fantasy, exploring spaces you thought only existed in the imaginations of the greatest jazz experimentalists.’ Mojo
‘the finest kora player in the world, plying the traditional African harp with a lilting tenderness that melts the heart.’ Traveller

Toumani Diabaté is one of the most important musicians in Africa. He plays the kora, a harp unique to West Africa with 21 strings; more than any other kora player it is Toumani who is responsible for bringing this instrument to audiences around the world. He is a performer of truly exceptional virtuosity and creativity.

For Toumani experimentation is simply part of the job of a modern griot (hereditary musician/historian), ‘The griot’s role is making communication between people, but not just historical communication. In Mali I can work in the traditional way, elsewhere I can work in a different way. Why not?’ He has worked with musicians and traditions of many different fields of music; from this he derived the ‘jugalbandi’ idea (musical dialogue between two instruments) that has become one of his trademarks.

He has worked with other big names such as Salif Keita, Damon Albarn, Ali Farka Touré and Björk. He recently celebrated his second Grammy Award for Ali and Toumani, which has received enthusiastic reviews:

‘An album of spellbinding beauty.’ Uncut ****

‘…the tracks weave a binding spell.’ Q ****

‘Sparkling, fresh, and so beautifully simple as to defy description.’ Mail on Sunday ****

‘Fully deserves as many plaudits as its garlanded predecessor.’ fRoots

‘Perfect.’ Songlines *****

‘…catch it in the right mood and you’ll fall blissfully in love.’ Dazed and Confused

‘Ali and Toumani is the seminal meeting of musical greats and the exquisite marriage of varying genres spanning continents and generations.’

Content Related To This Artist

Podcast: Out Of Africa #6

In this show, we travel from Africa’s kora, desert blues from the Sahara desert, the beautiful strings from Cape Verde Islands, through jazz from gipsy influence and finish with a dub in a world music perspective. Music is the glue that connects humanity as ONE! (Aired on August 11 on…

Artists: Ballake Sissoko , Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra , Bombino , Cordas do sol , Juan Bau , Ludovico Einaudi , Mamadou Diabate , Mbongwana Star , Oum , Stereo Utopia , The Spy From the Cairo , Toumani Diabaté

Daily Discovery: Toumani Diabaté And The London Symphony Orchestra – Mamadou Kanda Keita (Official Video)

‘Mamadou Kanda Keita’ is extracted of the “very special” collaborative album Korolen by Malian kora master Toumani Diabate and renowned London-based symphony orchestra LSO.   “Commissioned as a special project by the Barbican Centre in London and produced by World Circuit, these recordings feature Diabaté and his group of eminent Malian…

Artists: London Symphony Orchestra , Toumani Diabaté

WOMAD 2016 Highlights: Saturday

[chimpy_form forms=”5″] They invited their fans singing “come see us play”. So we did it and enjoyed every single minute of it. Sidestepper brought their Afro-Colombian groove to WOMAD Festival and it was simply “chevere!”   A few minutes later, we witnessed the brilliant 30-year reunion of Songhai – kora king Toumani Diabate with…

Artists: Ana Tijoux , Anoushka Shankar , George Clinton , Parliament Funkadelic , Sidestepper , Toumani Diabaté

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