BKO Quintet

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Each generation reinvents the past. It doesn’t matter where in the world, it’s human nature to want to make a mark on tradition. All the members of Mali’s BKO Quintet grew up with the music and culture of their ancestors, both the hunters and the griots. But together they have created something very different on their full-length debut, Bamako Today (released March 102015 on Buda Musique). They brought together those separate traditions, and the result is a unique sound that lives up to the album’s modern title, creating a New Tradition of Malian Music.

We came together in 2012,” explains the band’s co-founder, percussionist Aymeric Krol. “When there was a state of emergency in the country. Even in Bamako we didn’t know what would happen.”

BKO Quintet¹s music is born from a meeting between five established artists. This gathering provides a journey into the heart of the contemporary Mali. Ibrahima Sarr, powerful percussionist, masters with ease the sounds of the djembe drum and has traveled the world alongside Oumou Sangare. Fassara Sacko whose voices take you from aback differs from other griots in traditional celebrations. Yoro Sibide's grandson, Nfali Diakte, with his infernal tournes, also sings and plays his donsongoni in animist ceremonies celebrated by his peers. Abdoulaye Kone, master of djelingoni develops a unique psychedelic style. He is the descendant of Djeli Baba Sissoko, and has been solicited before this quintet by great artist like Tiken Jah Fakoly, Salif Keita to tour outside of the Malian borders. Finally Aymeric krol, experienced of internationals stages, groves on his strange drums. For the past 10 years, he often settled in Bamako where he worked with several artists. Today, his ecounter with Ibrahima Sarr gives birth to the project: BKO Quintet.

It’s the first time anyone has brought together the country’s hunter and griot cultures, and the two sit together with just enough tension to make the sound exciting and vital.