Habib Koité

Habib Koité & Bamada in Seattle August 2008

Habib Koité
Habib Koité
Malian guitarist and vocalist Habib Koité will be performing at The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley for four nights, August 14 – 17, 2008. Band members are Habib Koité (voice/guitar), Kélétigui Diabaté (balafon/violin), Souleyman Ann (drums/calabash/backing vocals), Abdoul Wahib Berthé (bass, kamale ngoni, backing vocals), Mahamadou Koné (talking drum/doum doum/caragnan), Boubacar Sidibé (guitar/backing vocals/harmonica).
 After a six-year absence from the recording studio, Malian guitarist Habib Koité and his band Bamada are now touring behind their latest recording, Afriki (Cumbancha, 2007). With more than 250,000 albums sold around the globe, an appearance on the popular television show Late Night with David Letterman, a duet with Bonnie Raitt on her 2002 album Silver Lining and nearly a thousand concerts on some of the world’s most prestigious stages under his belt, Habib Koité is one of Africa’s most beloved and popular musicians. Afriki, features an appealing set of songs that reflect Habib’s unique and innovative approach to the diverse styles of Malian music.

Koité is known for his unique approach to playing the guitar. He tunes his instrument to the pentatonic scale and plays on open strings as one would on the African instrument kamala n’goni. At other times Habib plays music that sounds closer to blues or flamenco, two styles he studied under Khalilou Traoré, a veteran of the legendary Afro-Cuban band Maravillas du Mali. Unlike the griots, his singing style is restrained and intimate with varying cadenced rhythms and melodies.

Habib Koité’s artistry and powerful personality earned him the adoration of fans such as Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, as well as a series of recognized Malian artists, including Kélétigui Diabaté and Toumani Diabaté. They have all done a great deal to support Habib’s music by promoting private events designed to attract new audiences and performing live with Habib on stage. His breakthrough crossover success Ma Ya (Putumayo) spent an unprecedented 20 weeks in the top 20 of the College Music Journal New World music chart, and broke new ground at AAA rock radio, spending several months in regular rotation on commercial stations across the country. In 2002, Habib won a Kora Award, Africa’s Grammy, for Best West African artist.

Buy the CD:

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
2033 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98121
COST: $26.50