Bassekou Kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate

and Ngoni Ba

Sunday, October 30, 7:00pm
at YBCA Forum

Bassekou Kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate

and Ngoni Ba

Sunday, October 30, 7:00pm
at YBCA Forum

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba

Bassekou Kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate

and Ngoni Ba

Sunday, October 30, 7:00pm
at YBCA Forum

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba

As a griot, Mali’s Bassekou Kouyate traces his musical lineage back to the wealthy West African empire founded by Sundiata Keita in the 13th century, when his ancestors entertained the royal court. Every note that he plays on the ngoni, a small four-string lute, embodies a tradition handed down for dozens of generations. But that’s not to say Kouyate is shackled to the past. Determined to enhance the music’s visibility, he assembled Ngoni Ba, an eight-piece group combining the energy of a rock band with the emphatic call-and-response choruses of a gospel ensemble. Looking to expand the ngoni’s harmonic range, he added additional strings and introduced a powerful new sound on 2007’s Segu Blue, which won a coveted BBC Radio 3 World Music Award. Last year he refined Ngoni Ba’s concept with the acclaimed I Speak Fula, an album showcasing ingenious orchestrations and the incantatory vocals of Amy Sacko, his wife and creative partner. Beyond Ngoni Ba, Kouyate has collaborated with pop luminaries U2 and Carlos Santana and played an essential role on recordings by African legends including Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré, Vieux Farka Touré and Youssou N’Dour.

Artist Personnel

Bassekou Kouyate
  ngoni, ngoni ba
Oumar Barou Kouyate ngoni
Fousseyni Kouyate ngoni ba
Moussa Bah ngoni bass
Alou Coulibaly calebasse
Moussa Sissoko percussion
Amy Sacko vocals

Artist Website

"This is Kouyate’s personal vision of his own rich, multicultural nation, and it feels as fresh and imaginative as it does authentic. He just explodes with ideas and energy. " — NPR
"A genius, and living proof that the blues comes from the region of Segu. " — Taj Mahal