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Bassekou Kouyate – The String Virtuoso from Mali

Get swept away by the innovative West African folk music. From Mali’s vibrant music scene comes the Master of Ngoni, Bassekou Kouyate, who has collaborated with greats such as Youssou N’Dour and the Kronos Quartet.

Bassekou Kouyate is one of the true masters of the ngoni, the string instrument from West Africa that resembles a lute. Together with the band Ngoni Ba, he has maintained the folk musical tradition and is at the same time a virtuoso and innovator. Now he’s visiting Gothenburg together with his partner Amy Sacko and her soulful vocals.

With his mix of folk music, rock and blues, Bassekou Kouyate has collaborated with many musicians in and outside of Mali. He has shared stages with greats such as Youssou N’Dour, Kronos Quartet, Taj Mahal, Bono and Paul McCartney.

The debut album released in 2007 was honored at the BBC Radio 3 Awards and the follow-up was nominated for a Grammy. His latest album Miri from 2019 has a more subtle and earthy turn. Miri means dream or contemplation in the West African Bamana language. In the title track, Bassekou Kouyate returns to his hometown, a small village on the Niger River. Far away from the capital’s noise, traffic jams and political chaos, he sits by the beach and thinks about his life.

Recorded in Gothenburg Concert Hall, 24 November 2023.

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Bassekou Kouyaté & Amy Sacko

Bassekou Kouyate ngoni

Amy Sacko vocals