Artist Profiles: Baba Sissoko

Baba Sissoko

Baba Sissoko is a master of the talking drums (tamani). He is also a jali (griot) by birth. He has collaborated and recorded with Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita, Habib Koite, Rokia Traore, Ibrahim Ferrer, Buena Vista Social Club, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Don Moye and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Mamady Keita.

Sissoko formed a trio with musicians from other traditions: Roger Sabal Lecco played bass with Manu Dibango, Myriam Makeba, Fela Kuti, Francis Bebey, Lucio Dalla and Louisiana Red; and Reynaldo Hernandez played percussion with the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional of Cuba and with the Gipsy Kings.

The trio celebrates the meeting of 3 great musicians at the top of their art, inspired by their own cultures: Manding, Bambara, Sonrai, Yoruba and Congo. In addition, the trio also has blues, jazz and rock elements, acquired during their careers.

Baba Sissoko – lead vocal, tamani, ngoni, kamalengoni, bala, calabass
Roger Sabal Lecco – bass, vocals
Reynaldo Hernandez – Cuban percussion, vocals


Djana (Ports song, 1999)
Bamako Chicago Express (Live In Longiano) (Il Manifesto, 2002)
Al Majmaâ (Igloo, 2004)
Djeliya (Il Manifesto, 2004)
Djekafo (Il Manifesto, 2007)
Fanfare & Choeur (AZ Productions, 2007)
Culture Griot (Cypres, 2009)
Regard Sur Le Passe (Sidecar, 2011)
African Griot Groove (Goodfellas, 2012)
Tchiwara (Goodfellas, 2014)
Three Gees (Blind Faith Records, 2015)
Khalab & Baba (Wonderwheel Recordings, 2015)
Jazz (R)evolution (Caligola, 2015)
Ancestral Ritual (2017)
Mediterranean Blues (Caligola, 2017)
Griot Blues (One Root Music, 2017)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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