Toumani Diabate

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About Toumani Diabate

Scion of a long generational line of Malian musical griots, Toumani Diabaté is a master of the kora, the 21-string lute-like instrument native to West Africa. Equally at home with Malian traditions as well as musicians of diverse cultural backgrounds, Diabaté came to worldwide attention through a series of acclaimed solo albums and collaborations. A self-taught prodigy, he absorbed the sounds of his legendary musician father Sidiki Diabaté and the Western-influenced Bamako ensembles of the 1970s; his 1988 debut Kaira sealed his reputation as an international performer. Seeing experimentation as part of the job of a modern-day griot, Diabaté has since forged intriguing collaborations with artists ranging from the Spanish flamenco group Ketama to Blur frontman Damon Albarn to blues guitar legend Taj Mahal to banjo innovator Béla Fleck.

Bamako, Mali
August 10, 1965

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