Guinean Jali, Keba Bobo Cissoko, Passes Away

Africa – The great Keba Bobo Cissoko, master jeli passed away on February 8th, 2003.

Keba was born and raised in a jeli (also known as griot) village in Guinea Bissau. He lived the traditional Jali life until he moved to Guinea in the early eighties. In Conakry, he was a member of the Ballets Africains and of the Ensemble Instrumental National. He was a founding member of the Merveilles d’Afrique and toured the world with these ensembles. Since 1996, Keba established himself as one of the greatest kora players and singers in the United States, teaching and performing all over the country. He was the leader of Tamalalou, an ensemble dedicated to perform his music. He participated in many groups and recordings; among them: Reginald Yates, Maimouna Keita, Feraba and Fula Flute.

Keba, as soloist and as leader of his group Tamalalou, was featured on the Smithsonian Folkways compilation: Badenya, Manden Jaliya in New York City.