Mamadou Diabaté

Biography :

Another leading figure in the world of the kora, Mamadou Diabaté, is from western Mali and also comes from a family of griots. His cousin Toumani Diabaté is known for his collaboration with Ali Farka Touré, earning a Grammy Award (In the Heart of the Moon, 2005). Young Mamadou began playing the kora at age 4 with his father, who was part of the Ensemble instrumental du Mali. While still a child, he accompanied griots in ceremonies throughout the region and then played in Bamako under the tutelage of his now famous cousin, Toumani.
Mamadou Diabaté settled in the United States in 1996 on the occasion of a tour by the Ensemble instrumental du Mali and began performing with jazzmen including Donald Byrd, Randy Weston, Zimbabwean legend Thomas Mapfumo and Benin star Angélique Kidjo. He also collaborated with Indian and Malian musicians on the album Strings Tradition, released in 2008.

Mamadou Diabaté has recorded six albums, starting with Tunga (2000), Behmanka (2005), Heritage (2006), Douga Mansa (2008), winner of a Grammy Award for traditional world music, and Courage (2011). His latest album, Griot Classique, is dedicated to his father, Djelimory N’fa Diabaté, and to Nelson Mandela, who died two weeks apart in December 2013. A fine tribute to two men who played key roles in the career of this outstanding kora player.

Mamadou Diabaté
Festival International Nuits d'Afrique


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