Tag Archives: Seckou Keita

Artist Profiles: Seckou Keita


Seckou Keita – Photo by Andy Morgan

Seckou Keita was born in 1977 in the green region of Casamance (south of Senegal),. He is a descendant of the Keita family of Kings from Mali.

Seckou’s lineage would normally not allow him to become a jeli (griot), but he was raised by his mother’s family, the Cissokho’s [also known as Sissoko], a well-established griot family in Senegal.

Although a kora player through the jeli tradition, his thirst for music has also made him an outstanding drummer and percussionist.

Seckou started to perform professionally at festivals in Senegal at the age of seven, supporting his famous uncle Solo Cissokho. By the age of 12, he had formed his own group, Coute Diomboulou and was performing throughout the country.

His international career took off in 1996 under the guidance of his uncle Solo Cissokho, living in Scandinavia.

Seckou performed at the Forde festival in Norway with musicians from Norway, India and Cuba. The group combined the traditional music from each of the countries represented to create a new musical style. This led to a tour for the group the following year at the Global Music Festival in India where they performed with Dr L. Subramanian, an internationally renowned violinist and composer.

In 1998, Seckou relocated to the UK where he became a member of Baka Beyond. He performed around Europe (the Czech Republic, Spain, France, Portugal, Greece and of course the UK) in festivals such as Womad and Glastonbury.

He became an indispensable element of most of the African festivals such as Drum Camp, Ace and Tribe of Doris. And has also been greatly in demand for private parties, weddings and first night openings of musicals such as the Lion King in Covent Garden.

In the middle of 2000, Seckou started recording his first album “Baiyo” (meaning Orphan). The album was finally released on June 20t, 2001. Baiyo represents Seckou’s journey from Africa to Europe via India.

He also participated in the ETE project, which released an album in November 2001 and led to a UK tour on March 2002.

In 2001, he impressed audiences as a solo performer at WOMAD Las Palmas (Spain), the Sacred Music Festival (Ireland) and at the Jazz Café (London) for the Africa night broadcasted by BBC Radio 3. This wassuch a success that he was nominated by the listeners of Radio 3 for the World Music Award 2001.

Seckou also created Jamoral, which was the first step to modernizing kora music with a groove dance approach. The band performed at different festivals such as WOMAD Reading, the Edinburgh Festival and the Epicuriales (France).

As a musicians family, the Cissokhos have always dreamt of being united to carry on the powerful tradition throughout the world and to introduce in its modern form. This dream was first mentioned by Solo the patriarch of the family Solo Cissokho and was called Jalikunda (the House of Griots).

In 2002, Seckou carried on this idea by inviting 4 members of his family to tour all over UK in renowned festivals such as Glastonbury (Jazz/World Stage), Womad festival and Window of the World where the band performed alongside Cheikh Lo and Papa Wemba.

This was such a success that Seckou decided to produce the first family album, <a

href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009AQMW/105-2850599-3152441?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=musidelmund-20&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creativeASIN=B00009AQMW”>Lindiane</a>, which was released in February 2003.

In 2004, he began working with Juldeh Camara, the monocord fiddle or riti player from The Gambia who later hit the big time with Justin Adams and Robert Plant.

A new ‘quintet’ began to form around Seckou which included the bassist Davide Mantonvani, Seckou’s 17-year-old brother Surhata Susso and the classically-trained violinist Samy Bishai. Mandé, Arab, Indian, pan-African, jazzy – a wonderful mix of sounds was present on the group’s first album Tama Silo: Afro-Mandinka Soul, released in 2006. Seckou then took the quintet back home to showcase this new blend to family and friends in Senegal, where they were joined by his sister Binta Susso.

Their next album, The Silimbo Passage released in 2008. The Seckou Keita Quintet toured incessantly during this period, notching up more than 200 concerts in over 40 countries.

Seckou also became involved with the WOMAD festival as a performer and a workshop host, traveling to Singapore, Australia and the Canary Islands, and played at WOMAD UK with Catrin Finch in 2014.

He is a regular performer in Do You Speak Djembe?, an ambitious percussion extravangaza series in France and Switzerland created by Sewabeats founder Doug Manuel, and French composer Philip Fournier, the lead conductor of the Lyons Symphony Orchestra.

His previous albums Miro and The Silimbo Passage hit No.1 in the European world music charts. The collaboration has since given over 130 performances throughout Europe, the US and Canada and garnered huge critical acclaim from fans and critics alike.

His solo album, 22 Strings, was released in May 2015.

In 2016, Seckou was invited to play with Damon Albarn’s African Express with the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians.

Seckou Keita and Catrin Finch

The second collaboration with Catrin Finch was SOAR, released in 2018.

In 2018, Keita formed AKA Trio, together with Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione and Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale. The group released an album titled Joy in 2018.

Discography:

Baka Beyond Presents Eté ‎(March Hare Music, 2001)
Mali (ARC Music, 2003)
Afro Mandinka Soul: Tama Silo (ARC Music, 2006)
The Silimbo Passage (World ArtVentures, 2009)
Miro (Astar Artes Recordings, 2012)
Clychau Dibon, with Catrin Finch (Astar Artes/Mwldan, 2013)
22 Strings – 22 Cordes (ARC Music, 2015)
Transparent Water, with Omar Sosa (Otá Records, 2017)
Soar, with Catrin Finch (Bendigedig, 2018)
Joy ( Bendigedig, 2018)

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AKA Trio Tops the July 2019 Transglobal World MusiC Chart

The album Joy y by AKA Trio is the number one recording in July at the Transglobal World Music Chart. AKA Trio is a collaboration between guitar virtuoso Antonio Forcione (Italy), kora master Seckou Keita (Senegal) and skilled percussionist Adriano Adewale.

AKA Trio – Joy

The complete list:

  1. AKA Trio – Joy – Bendigedig
  2. Minyo Crusaders – Echoes of Japan – Mais Um
  3. Mara Aranda – Sefarad en el corazón de Turquía – Mara Aranda
  4. Kronos Quartet, Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat – Placeless – Kirkelig Kulturverksted
  5. Angelique Kidjo – Celia – Verve / Universal Music France
  6. Altın Gün – Gece – Glitterbeat
  7. Refugees for Refugees – Amina – Muziekpublique
  8. The Gloaming – 3 – Real World
  9. Gaiteiros de Lisboa – Bestiário – Uguru
  10. Dizzy Mandjeku & Alé Kumá – De Palenque à Matongé – Zephyrus
  11. Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa – Poetic Trance – PIAS
  12. Vassvik – Gákti – Heilo / Grappa Musikkforlag
  13. Mísia – Pura Vida (Banda Sonora) – Galileo Music Communication
  14. Las Hermanas Caronni – Santa Plástica – Les Grands Fleuves
  15. Söndörgő – Nyolc 8 Nyolc – SNDRG Music
  16. Park Jiha – Philos – Tak:til / Glitterbeat
  17. Oumar Konate – I Love You Inna – Clermont Music
  18. Yapunto – Yapunto – Yapunto
  19. Alim Qasimov and Michel Godard – Awakening – Buda Musique
  20. Black Flower – Future Flora – Sdban Ultra

More at www.transglobalwmc.com

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Artist Profiles: AKA Trio

AKA Trio

AKA Trio is a music ensemble that brings together three skilled musicians: Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione, kora master Seckou Keita and Brazilian percussion wizard Adriano Adewale.

AKA Trio’s style combines Mediterranean, Senegalese, Brazilian, and jazz influences.

The trio released its debut album titled Joy (Bendigedig, May 2019) on May 24th, 2019 on the bendigedig label.

Discography:

Joy  (Bendigedig, May 2019)

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Playful Guitar, Vocals and Kora

AKA Trio – Joy  (Bendigedig, May 2019)

AKA Trio, an international collaboration featuring Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione, Senegalese kora player and lead vocalist Seckou Keita and Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale has released a spirited album titled Joy.

AKA Trio – Joy

Joy is pure delight, a captivating melodic mix of West African, Mediterranean, blues, jams and global rhythms. Throughout the album, the kora and the guitar dance masterfully around each other, supported by exquisite subtle percussion.

Buy Joy

headline photo: AKA Trio by Anna Kunst

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The Nest Collective Announces the 2019 Season of Campfire Club

The Nest Collective’s Campfire Club

British cross-cultural folk music presenter The Nest Collective has announce the 2019 season of its Campfire Club.  For over 5 years, Campfire Club has been the way for Londoners to gather in beautiful green spaces and listen to great music from artists across the globe. Every week, from May to September, musicians and the audience come together in the simple way that people have done for thousands of years, around the fire with food, drink, music and each other. The performances are unamplified, allowing the audience to get up close and personal and hear the artists’ music in a very intimate way.

This year, Campfire Club is taking place at outdoor spaces in Islington, Peckham, Bermondsey, Bow and Stockwell, with a wide range of artists including Seckou Keita, Alasdair Roberts, Martin Carthy, Marry Waterson & Emily Barker, Samaia and many more.

New this year, The Nest Collective is expanding itsr Campfire Club program in 2019 to include family-focused events and campfire singarounds. Family Campfire Clubs will be taking place from 3pm-6pm on July 27th, August 10th, September 7th, and September 21st September at Culpeper Community Gardens in Islington.

The Nest Collective was founded by folk singer Sam Lee, a leading curator in developing contemporary and cross-cultural folk music in the UK.

More information at: thenestcollective.co.uk/show-category/campfire-club

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Towersey 2019 Announces Initial Line-up

Towersey 2019 performers

Towersey folk and world music festival announced the first set of artists scheduled to perform August 23-26, 2019. The line-up so far includes The Unthanks, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Steve Knightley, Elephant Sessions, Beans on Toast, Rusty Shackle, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Old Man luedecke, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan. The festival takes place in Thame, Oxfordshire, England.

Towersey in 2018:

More at www.towerseyfestival.com

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The Best World Music Albums of 2018

World Music Central has compiled the list of best world music albums of 2018 selected by our editors and contributors as well as our partners at the Transglobal World Music Chart and our colleagues at the European World Music Chart.

Tom Orr (USA), World Music Central


Moira Smiley – Unzip the Horizon

Moira Smiley – Unzip the Horizon (Moira Smiley Music)
Various Artists – Ska Around the World (Putumayo)
Opium Moon – Opium Moon (Be Why Music)
The Temple Rockers – Festival of Lights (Fresh Roots Records)
Nancy Vieira – Manha Florida (Lusafrica)
Appalatin – Vida (Appalatin)
Ram – August 1791 (Willibelle)
Bombay Rickey – Electric Bhairavi (Cowboys & Indian)
Black Masala – Trains and Moonlight Destinies (Black Masala Music)
Bokante & Metropole Orkest – What Heat (Real World)

Runner Up: Razia – The Road (Razia Said)

The best live event of the year was, without doubt, Moira Smiley’s one-of-a-kind CD release concert, an intimate and truly magical performance in the City of Angels.

Daryana Antipova (Russia), World Music Central and Transglobal World Music Chart


Kalascima – K

1) Kalascima – K (Ponderosa Music & Art)
2) Monsieur Doumani – Angathin (Monsieur Doumani )
3) Solju – Odda Áigodat (Bafe’s Factory)
4) Brigan – Rua San Giacomo (Marocco Music)
5) 47Soul – Balfron Promise (Cooking Vinyl)
6) Eva Salina & Peter Stan – Sudbina: A Portrait of Vida Pavlovic (Vogiton)
7) Yiddish Glory – The Lost Songs of World War II (Six Degrees)
8) Auli & Tautumeitas – Lai Masina Rotajas! (CPL-Music)
9) Gili Yalo – Gili Yalo (Dead Sea)
10) WoWaKin – Kraj za Miastem (WoWaKin)

Dorothy Johnson-Laird (USA), World Music Central


Jupiter & Okwess – Kin Sonic

Jupiter & Okwess – Kin Sonic
Bombino – Deran
Manou Gallou – Afro Groove Queen
Fatoumara Diawara – Fenfo (Something to Say)
Imarhan – Temet
Samite – Resilience
Ebo Taylor – Yen Ara
Orquesta Akokán – Orquesta Akokán
Anandi Bhattacharya – Joys Abound
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – Soar

Madanmohan Rao (India), World Music Central and Transglobal World Music Chart


Angelique Kidjo – Remain in Light

Angelique Kidjo – Remain in Light
Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra – Avo Kanto
Baul Meets Saz – Namaz
Cimbalom Brothers – Testvériség / Brotherhood
Hugh Masekela – Masekela 66-76
Indialucia – Acatao
Jivan Gasparyan Duduk Ensemble – Yeraz
Kora Jazz Trio – Part IV
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Black Times
Stella Chiweshe – Kasahwa: Early Singles

Rafael Mieses (Dominican Republic/USA), Músicas del Mundo and and Transglobal World Music Chart

Chabuco – Encuentro

1- Chabuco – “Encuentro” (Sony Music)
2- Gabacho Maroc – Tawassol (10h10 / Cristal)
3- Malagasy Guitar Masters – Volo Hazo ( Buda Musique)
4- Marta Gómez – La Alegría y el Canto (Aluna)
5- El Naán – La Danza de las Semillas ( El Naán)
6- Ammar 808 – Maghreb United (Glitterbeat)
7- Samba Touré – Wande (Glitterbeat)
8- Ruben Blades & Winton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center “Una noche con Ruben Blades” (Blue Engine Records)
9 – Koum Tara – Koum Tara (Odradek)
10- Toko Telo – Diavola (Anio)

Arthur Shuey (USA), World Music Central


Koum Tara

Koum Tara by Karim Maurice & Sid-Ahmed Belksier
El Berencesa by Hossam Ramzy
Daa Dee by Minyeshu
Battle of Kings by Saor Patrol
Soar by Catrin Finch/Seckou Keita
A Cry For Revolution by Los Rupay
Yiddish Glory – Various Artists
Melodic Circles by Rostami

Angel Romero Ruiz (USA), World Music Central, Músicas del Mundo and Transglobal World Music Chart

Opium Moon – Opium Moon

Opium Moon – Opium Moon – Be Why Music
The Gloaming – Live at the NCH – Real World Records
The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices – Boocheemish – Prophecy
Bokanté + Metropole Orkest – What Heat – Real World Records
Shooglenifty and Dhun Dhora – Written in Water – Shoogle Records
Shadi Fathi, Bijan Chemirani – Delâshena – Buda Musique
Dayramir Gonzalez – The Grand Concourse – Machat Records
Kittel & Co. – Whorls – Compass Records
El Naan – La Danza de las Semillas – El Naan
SANS – Kulku – Cloud Valley

Runner ups:

Plena Libre – Amores en el camino – Plena Libre
Afro Celt Sound System – Flight – ECC Records

Transglobal World Music Chart, Best Albums of 2018

Monsieur Doumani – Angathin

Best Album of 2018
Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani

Best of North Africa & Middle East 2018
Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani

Best Transregional Album 2018
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – Soar – Bendigedig

Best of Subsaharan Africa 2018
Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo – Montuno / Shanachie / Wagram

Best of Europe 2018
El Naán – La Danza de las Semillas – El Naán

Best of Asia (Central & East) & Pacific 2018
Anandi Bhattacharya – Joys Abound – Riverboat / World Music Network

Best of North & Central America 2018
Grupo Mono Blanco – ¡Fandango! Sones Jarochos de Veracruz – Smithsonian Folkways

Best of South America 2018
Son Palenque – Kutu Prieta pa Saranguiá – Palenque

Best Compilation 2018
V.A. – Chikhates & Chioukhs de l’Aïta: Anthologie – Atlas Azawan

World Music Charts Europe – The top 10 in 2018

Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo

1 – Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo – 3eme Bureau / Wagram
2 – 3MA / Rajery, Driss El Maloumi, Ballake Sissoko – Anarouz – Mad Minute Music
3 – Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – Soar – Bendigedig
4 – Marta Gomez – La Alegria y El Canto – Aluna
5 – Dirtmusic – Bu Bir Ruya – Glitterbeat
6 – Samba Toure – Wande – Glitterbeat
7 – Djeneba & Fousco – Kayeba Khasso – Lusafrica
8 – Dur-Dur Band – Dur Dur of Somalia Vol 1 & 2 – Analog Africa
9 – Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani
10 – Calypso Rose – So Calypso! – Because Music

Selected Videos

headline photo: Fatoumata Diawara at Shakori Hills – Photo by Angel Romero

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Significant Music Festival Colours of Ostrava 2018

The annual music festival Colours of Ostrava will take place July 18-21, 2018 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The lineup this year includes Oumou Sangare, Cheikh Lô, Dobet Gnahoré, Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita, Ziggy Marley, Calexico, Dirtmusic, Radio cos, Debashish Bhattacharya, BraAgas and many more.

Colours of Ostrava is a multi-genre music festival organised annually in Ostrava since 2002. The festival features international acts, including world music artists.

More at www.colours.cz

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Magnificent Timple, Guitar, Kora and Mandolin Performances by the Oslava River

Various Artists – Strunk Nad Oslavou – Strings over the Oslava River 2016 (Indies Scope, 2017)

In 2016, violinist Jitka Šuranská brought together an ensemble of string instrument maestros from various countries, representing diverse traditions. The concert at Festivalu Folkové prázdniny (Festival Folk Holidays) in Náměšť nad Oslavou by the Oslava River in 2016 was recorded and released under the title Strunk Nad Oslavou – Strings over the Oslava River 2016.

The festival team invited Germán López, one of the leading timple (a small Spanish guitar from the Canary Islands) players in the Canary Islands, Spain; talented guitarist Antonio Forcione from Italy; Senegalese kora virtuoso Seckou Keita; and Czech mandolin maestro Martin Krajíček.

The headliner quartet was enhanced with the addition of Spanish guitarist Antonio Toledo, violinist Juraj Stieranka, bass player Juraj Valencik from Slovakia, mandolinist Wolfgang Meyering and Jitka Šuranská on vocals.

The concert program included a set where each musician took the lead and then various pieces where the full ensemble played together. The result is a wonderful mix of solo work, dazzling interplay and superb ensemble creations. The musical influences include traditional folk music from the Canary Islands, Senegalese music, Czech folk tunes and world fusion, where various genres met and delivered a deeply satisfying mix.

The CD version includes a booklet with photos, liner notes and biographical profiles of the musicians in Czech and English.

Strunk Nad Oslavou – Strings over the Oslava River 2016 is an extraordinarily expressive album featuring superb timple, guitar, kora and mandolin performances.

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Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita Top The Transglobal World Music Chart in June 2018

The album Soar (Bendigedig), the new collaboration between Welsh harp player Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora virtuoso Seckou Keita has reached the Number 1 position at the The Transglobal World Music Chart in June 2018.

The rest of the June list:

2. El Naán – La Danza de las Semillas – El Naán
3. Toko Telo – Diavola – Anio
4. Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani
5. Nancy Vieira – Manhã Florida – Lusafrica
6. Koum Tara – Koum Tara – Odradek
7. Dobet Gnahoré – Miziki – LA Café
8. The Turbans – The Turbans – Six Degrees
9. Solju – Ođđa Áigodat – Bafe’s Factory
10. Shadi Fathi & Bijan Chemirani – Delâshena – Buda Musique

11. Djénéba & Fousco – Kayeba Khasso – Lusafrica
12. Arat Kilo, Mamani Keïta, Mike Ladd – Visions of Selam – Accords Croisés
13. Sonido Gallo Negro – Mambo Cósmico – Glitterbeat
14. Samba Touré – Wande – Glitterbeat
15. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Black Times – Strut
16. Amsterdam Klezmer Band & Söndörgő – Szikra – Vetnasj
17. Rahim AlHaj Trio – One Sky – Smithsonian Folkways
18. Grupo Mono Blanco – ¡Fandango! Sones Jarochos de Veracruz – Smithsonian Folkways
19. Eva Salina & Peter Stan – Sudbina: A Portrait of Vida Pavlović – Vogiton
20. Sopa de Pedra – Ao Longe Já Se Ouvia – Sopa de Pedra

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