Bassekou Kouyate from Mali is one of the true masters of the ngoni, an ancient traditional lute found throughout West Africa. He has collaborated with many musicians in and outside of Mali: He played in the Symmetric trio alongside Toumani Diabate (kora) and Keletigui Diabate (balafon). He was part of Taj Mahal‘s and Toumani Diabate‘s Kulanjan project, as well as touring with the late Ali Farka Toure and playing most of the ngoni solos on Ali Farka’s posthumous album Savane.
Towards the end of 2006 Damon Albarn invited journalists and fellow artists to Mali – one of the Malian artists that left a lasting impression was Bassekou Kouyate.
Segu Blue, Bassekou’s first solo album to be released on Out Here Records on 26 March 2007 (UK distribution by Proper Music Distribution), features guest musicians Kasse Mady Diabate, Lobi Traore, Lassane Diabate and singers Ami Sacko and Zoumana Tereta. The album was produced by Lucy Duran, recorded by Yves Wernert at Studio Bogolan in Bamako and mixed by Jerry Boys (”Buena Vista Social Club”) in London.
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba have been booked to perform at the 25th anniversary of the WOMAD festival taking place at their new home of Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, 27-29 July 2007. One of their performances at the festival will also be broadcast on ‘BBC Radio 3’.
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