Bassekou Kouyate


Ljubljana 2014

 

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6115 Mali, Bamako, Bassekou Kouyate with first born son Madu (right) his wife Amy and their son Moustapha 03/2012

 

Bassekou was born in a village called Garana about 60 kilometers away from Segu, in a remote rural area on the banks of the Niger.He grew up in a musically traditional environment, because his mother was a singer, his father and his brothers were gifted Ngoni players. When he was 19 years old he moved to Bamako where he first Toumani Diabate met. In the late '80s, Bassekou was a part of Toumani's trio, and together they recorded their first albums' Songhai' and 'Djelika'. Bassekou married the singer Ami Sacko(the so-called " Tina Turner of Mali ") and they are very popular with the traditional Sunday wedding celebrations in the streets of Bamako. 

Bassekou Kouyate is today considered to be the leading Ngoni player in the world, who revolutionized the traditional Griot music and in his band "Ngoni ba" for the first time four Ngonis of different size and pitch combined. With their groovy sound, the seven-headed band (4 Ngonis, 2 Percussion and 1 Singer) has thrilled a large audience around the world for many years. The BBC gave Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba the "Best African Artist of the Year" and their debut album "Segu Blue" as "Best World Music Album of the Year". The Independent wrote after the prize-winning concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London: "The best rock'n'roll band in the world." 

The last album " Jama ko ", which was recorded during the military coup in 2012 and is a clear statement against the Islamization of the country, as well as the two previous albums wasseveral months No. 1 on the World Music Charts Europe(WMCE) placed! Besides the WMCE Yearendcharts 2013 chose renowned music magazines like Uncut and Mojo "Jama ko" as THE World Music Album in 2013, point 1 . Bassekou Kouyate was also the leading world music magazine Songlines for Best World Music Artist 2014 selected. He justifies these awards not only through his great music. Already since January 2013, when he presented for the first time in the Barbican "Jama ko" sold out with 2000 spectators, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba have played far more than 100 concerts from Australia to Brazil, from Japan to California, from Morocco to high Norway. Except in the best concert halls and clubs, he played at the most important festivals of all genres, such as in the North Sea Jazz Festival, Roskilde Festival, Glastonbury Festival (on the main stage to the Rolling Stones), Fuji Rock Festival, Womad, Africa Festival and much more.