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Mamadou Diabate

Behmanka - 2004

Like no other instrument, the kora symbolizes the great musical tradition of Western Africa. Its sound is just as distinctive as its appearance. The kora is closely connected to the griot tradition still and to this day the art of playing the kora is mostly taught in a family environment. As well as being a famous name in African music, the name Diabate also stands for this practice. Now living in the United States, Mamadou Diabate is the cousin of the most respected contemporary kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate. This is his second album and it features solo pieces for kora. Some of them come straight from the tradition, others are original pieces. Mamadou sees himself as a modernist working from a thorough knowledge of traditional music. Consequently, his approach combines a number of different techniques and musical conceptions in order to create new music for the kora. Mamadou is an innovator and a pioneer. His music is marked by an almost magical kind of intensity.