Djimo Kouyate, a jali, oral historian and 149th generation of the Kouyate
family of jali, historians and musicians, died in Washington, DC, on August 1.
He was 57. An outstanding musician and singer as well as a warm and generous
individual, Kouyate introduced many people to the regal beauty of the music and
histories maintained by the jalis of west Africa. Since moving to Washington, DC, in 1983, he co-founded and directed Memory of
African Culture, Inc., a cultural arts and education organization. Kouyate led
Mamaya African Jazz ensemble and served as an Adjunct Lecturer of African Music
and Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland. He performed at festivals and
events throughout the U.S. and toured with the National Council for Traditional
Arts’ “Echoes of Africa” tour. In his native Senegal, Kouyate served the
Cultural Ministry of Senegal for twenty years as a founding member of the
National Ballet du Senegal, and as instructor of kora music at L’Institute
National des Arts.
[Obituary courtesy of the Folk Alliance].