The son of a kora master and the brother of a gifted guitarist, the path seemed set out. And Diely Mori followed the fairies’ predictions. Thanks to his father, a great and venerated kora player, he not only learned to play that instrument but also built a broad repertory of traditional Mandinka pieces. In addition, he followed the teachings of his brother, Djeli Mady Tounkara, an internationally recognized guitarist and soloist with the Super Rail Band of Bamako. For years, he also benefited from the teachings of Toumani Kouyaté on the kora and of Daouda Fall Diagne on the sabar, a traditional West African percussion. Now, in addition to his professional career, he has decided to convey kora, guitar and sabar techniques to young people in Québec. With his learning completed, he put his talent and his knowledge of instruments and traditional music at the service at the greats, in both Mali and Senegal, including the Super Rail Band of Bamako, Kerfala Kanté, Mangala Camara, Saramba Kouyaté and Yaye Kanouté. Meanwhile, he produced his own compositions, alloyed with classical pieces from the Mandinka culture to achieve a rich and original fusion, a beautiful blend of the deepest traditions with a more contemporary personal repertory. In 2007, he settled in Montréal. He joined the group Taafé Fanga, with which he recorded the album Tamala in 2012, as well as the Kabakuwo collective, winner of the 2010 Syli D’or de la Musique du Monde 2010 of world music, with an initial album, Malongtin, released in 2011. He has also also collaborated with many artists, including Paul Andy, Laetitia Zonzambé, Prophète du Malheur, Alexandre Éthier, Wonny Song, Élage Diouf, Zal Sissokho, Tapa Diarra and Aboulaye Koné. As well, he is among the 17 artists from Montréal’s diversity selected for the creation of a collective and a namesake album, Arometis, a Vision Diversité project. In 2012, the artist created a group with Estelle Lavoie, the Tounkara-Lavoie group, pairing original creations and traditional musical styles, kora and guitar. Success came quickly: a Coup de coeur award from the Montréal Arts Council, Ici Musique and Radio-Canada’s diversity bureau at the 2013 and 2014 Vitrines de musiques locales métissées as well as the 2014 Prix de la diversité (Montréal Arts Council, Vision Diversité, MAI and the Place des arts).

Diely Mori Tounkara
Festival international Nuits d'Afrique - 38e