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].
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.