Another leading figure in the world of the kora, Yacouba Sissoko was born in Kita, Mali. At the age of 9, Yacouba started learning the kora and the oral traditions associated with it from his grandfather until he moved to Bamako, Mali’s capital, to attend the National Institute of the Arts. Based in the capital, he caught the attention of the music world and began touring with noted international African artists which eventually led him to settle in the United States in 1998.
With an intention to introduce and share the stories of his people but also to learn from other musicians and cultures, Yacouba incorporates a variety of musical influences into his repertoire, and as such has developed his own unique style of kora.
He performed, toured and recorded with well-known African musicians such as Baaba Maal, Sekou (Bambino) Diabate and Kerfala Kante. Yacouba, not limited to African music has also recorded and performed with a variety of artists including Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and Lauryn Hill.
Yacouba continues to blend effortlessly with other musical styles, whether it is performing Indian ragas or Appalachian tunes. Yacouba can be seen regularly touring with Regina Carter, Rachel Brown, Jordana de Lovely, Oran Etkin, Kavita Shah, Benyoro and his own band SIYA. His first solo CD SIYA was released in 2017.