Artist Profiles: Mamadou Sidibe

Mamadou Sidibe and Vanessa Sidibe
Mamadou Sidibe and Vanessa Sidibe

Mamadou Sidibe was the first person to change the traditional Malian instrument the doso ngoni, to the now popular kamele ngoni. He changed the number of strings from 6 to 7 and completely changed the melodies from sacred hunters songs to popular music of contemporary African life. He then went on to tour with Malian greats Coumba Sidibe, Oumou Sangare and Ramatu Piakite in Africa, Europe and the US.

Now Mamadou blends his Wassulu melodies with American blues in this new collaboration with his wife, Vanessa Sidibe. Vanessa is an accomplished Afro-Cuban and Salsa musician from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a multi-linguist, who sings in Spanish, French, English and Bambara (one of Mali’s languages).

Mamadou & Vanessa’s first CD, “Nacama (Destiny),” picked up several awards in 2006, including Best World Song in the Billboard Songwriting Contest and Best World Traditional Song at the Independent Music Awards.

The Sidibes merge two languages (Bambara and English), two cultures and two musical threads, telling soul stories of love, politics and spiritual life.


Nacama [Destiny] (2005)
Wassoulou (2008)
Learn Kamale Ngoni (2010)
Wulajan (2010)
Faso Mali (2011)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and 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.


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