Artist Profiles: African Virtuoses

Originally called Les Freres Diabate (The Diabate Brothers), the African Virtuoses were essentially a family band. But the Diabates were no ordinary family. For generations the Diabate clan has been esteemed in Guinea as the pre-eminent dynasty of string players.

At one time or another the African Virtuoses included four Diabate brothers playing acoustic guitars along with another guitarist or two, a kora player and one or two percussionists. Their style was rooted in traditional Mande music for stringed instruments but displayed their knowledge and love of Arabic taqasim, Spanish flamenco and even French jazz manouche.

The Classic Guinean Guitar Group is a compilation of recordings that Les Freres Diabate/African Virtuoses made in Conakry and Abidjan in the 1970s and 1980s. In the decades since, these recordings have earned an exalted reputation among guitar aficionados both for their musical excellence and for their rarity.

Discography:

The Classic Guinean Guitar Group (Sterns Africa STCD3024)

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 TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (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.

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