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Mali Blues

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba

| Mali

Bassekou Kouyate was born on the 7 August 1966 in Garana, a small and multi-ethnic village 60 km from Segu located at the banks of the Niger river. Garana is at the nexus of several villages with deep griot traditions, and a long history. Only a few kilometers away is the grave of the legendary buffalo woman, Do Kamissa, who precipitated the founding of the Mali Empire. (She was the aunt of Sunjata Keita who founded the empire in 1235). Several centuries later these same villages provided many of the celebrated griots of the Bamana empire (1712-1861), and the songs of that period are the constant inspiration behind Bassekou’s music.

Bassekou Kouyate is one of the true masters of the ngoni, an ancient traditional lute found throughout West Africa, and he has collaborated with many musicians in and outside of Mali: He played in the Symmetric trio alongside Toumani Diabate (kora) and Keletigui Diabate (balafon). He was part of Taj Mahal’s and Toumani Diabate’s ‘Kulanjan’ project, as well as being one of the key musicians on Ali Farka Toure’s posthumous album ‘Savane’ which was released July 2006. He toured with Ali Farka Toure leaving a lasting impression on the audience as the band’s solo ngoni player.

After his celebrated debut album ‘Segu Blue’ and the Grammy nominated follow up ‘I speak fula’, hundreds of concerts all over the globe, performing as headliner in the AfroCubism project. Just a few months ago, he appeared on stage together with Sir Paul McCartney, John Paul Jones, Damon Albarn and many others at the latest Africa Express events.

In 2013 Bassekou Kouyate returned with his new album ‘Jama ko’. The album was recorded during the coup d’etat in March 2012 and is Bassekou’s statement tot he ongoing crisis in Mali. The album was produced by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Godspeed you! black emperor)and features Taj Mahal, Khaira Arby, Mocky Salole & many others. The album became album of the year in the World Music Charts Europe 2013 and became best world music album of the year in Les Inrockuptible, Mojo, Uncut & many others.

The BBC chose him as “best African artist of the year” and moreover his debut album “Segu Blue” as“best world music album of the year". After the Prize-winner’s concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London, The Independent wrote: “The best rock'n'roll band in the world."

They played many important jazz, world music and rock festivals including North Sea Jazz Festival, Roskilde Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, Womad, Latitude, the most important Africa Festivals in Europe and many more.


On tour

 (8132 Bytes)

Maarja Nuut

28.09. DE-Düsseldorf
30.09. RU-St.Petersburg
12.10. GR-Thessaloniki
14.10. FR-Cholet
19.10. BE-Brussels
21.10. GB-Whitby
26.10. NL-Tilburg
27.10. NL-Rotterdam
05.11. NO-Oslo
16.01. LU-Luxembourg
17.01. LU-Luxembourg
26.01. BE-Turnhout
27.01. BE-Turnhout
16.02. DE-Berlin
21.03. IR-Dublin
01.09. DE-Wesel

The award-winning artist has been absorbing the rich tradition of Estonian folk and translates it into contemporary music.