Tag Archives: Habib Koité

Artist Profiles: Habib Koité

Habib Koité – Photo by Dirk Leunis

Habib Koité comes from a great line of Malian Khassonké jalis. He studied music for four years at the National Institute of Arts (NIA) in Bamako, where he continued to teach guitar after his graduation in 1982. Koité’s association with the NIA provided the opportunity to work and play with a line-up of notable Malian musicians including Kélétigui Diabaté and Toumani Diabaté.

In 1988, Koité formed his own band, Bamada, which toured extensively throughout Mali. Winning first prize at the Perpignan Voxpole Festival in 1991 afforded him the chance to record the hugely successful single “Cigarette A Bana,” which scored a major hit throughout West Africa. Following the release of his next single “Nanale,” Koité was awarded the prestigious Discovery of 1993: Media-Adami Award by Radio France International (RFl). His album Muso Ko went straight to the top of the European World Music Charts.

Koité has developed his own style, which draws upon the rich traditions of Malian music mixed with his own modern sound. He has successfully adapted the chords and “feel” of the traditional kamale ngoni (youth’s harp) to his electric guitar, while delving into the deep traditions of Malian music to mingle the sounds of the tama and bala instruments with music from the Bambara, northern Takamba and Songhai regions.


Muso Ko (Contre-Jour, 1995)
Ma Ya (Contre-Jour, 1998)
Baro (Putumayo World Music/Contre-Jour, 2001
Fôly ! Live Around The World (Contre-Jour, 2003)
Afriki (Cumbancha, 2007)
Acoustic Africa in concert (2011)
Brothers in Bamako (Stony Plain Records, 2012)
Soô (Contre-Jour, 2014)


The Rhythm Foundation in Miami Reveals the Fall-Winter 2018-19 Season

The Rhythm Foundation, the arts presenter of world music and other forms of music in South Florida, has announced the artists scheduled to perform in the Fall-Winter 2018-19 Season.

Saturday, September 22nd
North Beach Bandshell
Juana Molina. Opening set by Afrobeta
Argentine indie-folk-electronic star in a rare Miami concert.


Omar Souleyman


Friday, October 5th
North Beach Bandshell
Omar Souleyman. Opening set by Richie Hell. Co-Presented with MDC Live Arts
Syrian electronic artist on Diplo’s Mad Decent record label. Recently collaborated with Björk and Four Tet.

Saturday, October 6th
North Beach Bandshell
Roberto Cacciapaglia
Annual Italian music HIT Week event showcasing this striking composer blending electronic experimental music with the classical tradition.
Free with RSVP

Friday, October 12th
North Beach Bandshell
The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane
The devotional recordings of Jazz legend Alice Coltrane as released last year on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop record label performed by the album’s Sai Anantam Singers.

Thursday, October 18th
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Hieroglyphic Being
A unique electronic artist making music at the intersection of Deep House, Afrofuturism, avant-jazz, EBM, and global soundscapes.

Friday, October 26th
Adrienne Arsht Center
Youssou Ndour
African world music star with his band Super Étoile.

Friday, November 9th
Fillmore Miami Beach
Diego El Cigala

Spain’s superb and innovative Flamenco singer will performs intimately with piano as inspired by his past work with Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés,

Friday, December 7th
Emerson Dorsch Gallery
A group described as Talking Heads/David Bowie/B-52’s meets South Korean shamanic rock.
Free with RSVP


Mdou Moctar


Friday, January 18th, 2019
Mdou Moctar
African desert blues Tuareg artist from Niger on the Sahel Sounds record label.
Free with RSVP

Weekend, Feb. 8th – 10th, 2019
North Beach Bandshell
GroundUp Music Fest
Third annual festival presented by the GroundUp record label in partnership with The Rhythm Foundation.

Saturday, February 16th, 2019
North Beach Bandshell
Susana Baca
The best-known living exponent of the Afro-Peruvian musical tradition introduced to international audiences in the late 1990s by David Byrne.


Habib Koité & Bassekou Kouyaté


Saturday, March 16th, 2019
Little Haiti Cultural Center
Habib Koité & Bassekou Kouyaté
Two of Mali’s most renowned musicians come together for the U.S. premier tour of their new duo project.

Sunday, March 17th, 2019
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts
Anoushka Shankar. Co-Presented with SMDCAC
Sitarist Anoushka Shankar is the daughter of Ravi Shankar and sister of Norah Jones. She is the torch-bearer of her family’s Indian classical tradition.


More information and tickets at www.rhythmfoundation.com

headline photo: Susana Baca


World Music Stars Vusi Mahlasela and Habib Koité Announce USA Tour

Habib Koité and Vusi Mahlasela
Habib Koité and Vusi Mahlasela

The Acoustic Africa Tour returns to the United States of America with two of the finest live world music acts from Africa, Malian musician Habib Koite and South African vocalist Vusi Mahlasela. The tour begins Saturday, March 19, 2016 in San Francisco, California and will conclude on Sunday, April 17 in Somerville, Massachusetts. Acoustic Africa provides music fans a rare opportunity to experience their favorite African artists in intimate settings.

Vusi Mahlasela is known as ‘The Voice’ in South Africa, celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and his poetic, positive lyrics. Raised in the Mamelodi Township, where he still resides, Vusi became a singer-songwriter and poet-activist at an early age teaching himself how to play guitar and later joining the Congress of South African Writers. After his popular album debut on BMG Africa, When You Come Back, Vusi was asked to perform at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994.

Vusi has shared the stage with Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Paul Simon, and Taj Mahal, among many others. Possibly his biggest concert was in 2010 when he helped ring in the World Cup in South Africa, at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. Vusi has released seven studio albums to-date: When You Come Back (1992), Wisdom of Forgiveness (1994), Silang Mabele (1997), Miyela Afrika (2000), Jungle of Questions (2000), Naledi Ya Tsela – Guiding Star (2007) and Say Africa (2010). His latest release is Sing to the People (ATO Records), a celebratory live recording looking back on twenty years since his first album.

A modern singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist with extraordinary appeal, Habib Koité is one of the leading artist from West Africa. Habib Koité and his band Bamada became one of the first African artists to appear on Late Night with David Letterman, a popular TV comedy and variety show in the United States.
To date Habib Koité has sold over 250,000 albums, and he continues to build his profile through a very active calendar of tour dates. His discography includes Soo, Muso Ko, Afriki, Brothers in Bamako, Baro, Ma Ya and Foly Live Around the World.

Tour Dates:

Saturday, March 19 at Herbst Theater – San Francisco, CA
Sunday, March 20 at The Green Music Center – Rohnert Park, CA
Tuesday, March 22 at Cargo Concert Hall – Reno, NV
Thursday, March 24 at Fox Tuscon Theater – Tucson, AZ
Friday, March 25 at MIM Music Theater – Phoenix, AZ
Saturday, March 26 at Luckman Fine Arts Complex – Los Angeles, CA
Monday, March 28 at Kuumbwa Jazz Center – Santa Cruz, CA
Tuesday, March 29 at John Van Duzer Theatre – Arcata, CA
Thursday, March 31 at Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR
Friday, April 01 at The Triple Door – Seattle, WA
Saturday, April 02 at The Triple Door – Seattle, WA
Tuesday, April 05 at Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN
Wednesday April 06 at Old Town School Of Folk Music – Chicago, IL
Friday, April 08 at McCain Auditorium – Manhattan, KS
Sunday, April 10 at Academy of Music – Northampton, MA
Wednesday, April 13 at The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium – New York, NY
Thursday, April 14 at Lisner Audtiorium (GW University) – Washington, DC
Friday, April 15 at Weis Center (Bucknell) – Lewisburg, PA
Saturday April 16 at Stewart Theater (NC State) – Raleigh, NC
Sunday, April 17 at Somerville Theater – Somerville, MA