Toumani Diabaté

Toumani Diabaté ENGLISH CONTENT

Toumani Diabaté is one of the most important musicians in Africa. More than any other kora player it is Toumani who is responsible for bringing this instrument to audiences around the world. He is a performer of truly exceptional virtuosity and creativity - someone who has brought the kora to the prominent position it holds today among the world of musical instruments.

Toumani was born in Bamako, the capital of Mali, in 1965 into a family of exceptional griots, his research shows 71 generations of kora players from father to son. The most notable was his father, Sidiki Diabaté (c. 1922-96), a kora player of legendary fame in West Africa - dubbed King of the Kora, and a continuing inspiration to all kora players to this day. Though in fact, he is self-taught, never learning directly from his father except by listening, echoes of his father's playing can be heard in Toumani's style. Having started playing the kora at the age of five and made his public debut at the age of 13, one important idea Toumani inherited from his father is developing the kora as a solo instrument. He not only accomplished this but even took it to another level. Toumani discovered a way to play bass, rhythm and solo all at the same time on the kora, a method which would take him to the world stage. After his first appearance in Europe in 1986, he performed in many countries, either solo on his kora, or with ensembles, one of which is the Symmetric Orchestra he founded.

Toumani has published numerous albums, each of which are distinctly unique and highlight his diversity as a musician. His first album, "Kaira" was recorded when he was 21. This was a groundbreaking album – it was the first ever solo kora album and it still remains a best seller and one of the finest albums of kora music to date. In 1995 he recorded "Djelika" with exceptionally talented African artists playing ngoni and balafon. In 1998 he recorded a kora duet album with Ballake Sissoko; their two fathers released the 1970s classic Cordes Anciennes (Ancient Strings), so the new album was called "New Ancient Strings". Constantly looking to evolve and innovate, he made several collaborations with musicians from other parts of the world. His duets album "In the Heart of the Moon" recorded in 2004 with the great Ali Farka Touré, won the Best Traditional World Music Album GRAMMY Award. His 2008 album "Mandé Variations", the first album of solo kora since his groundbreaking debut album "Kaira" released almost twenty years ago is the proof of his unparalleled virtuosity refined and perfected over the years. Mandé Variations was nominated for Grammy awards in 2009.

In the recent years, Toumani has been proudly recognized for his contributions to the development of the kora, and as a key figure in African music. In 2004 he received the Zyriab des Virtuoses, a UNESCO prize awarded at the Mawazine Festival organized by King Mohammed 6th of Morocco. He is the first black African ever to be given the prize. Toumani is an active and dynamic member of the Malian musical community, and influential to the new generation. He has been taking steps to help preserve the legacy of traditional kora music in Mali, and to educate future generations of their rich musical heritage, whilst encouraging them to also explore the creative possibilities within music. He is the President/Director of Mandinka Kora Productions, who actively promote the kora through workshops, festivals, and various cultural events. Toumani is also a teacher of the kora and of modern and traditional music at the Balla Fasseke Conservatoire of Arts, Culture and Multimedia, which opened in Bamako at the end of 2004.

Bu içerik 30-05-2018 tarihinde eklenmiştir. / This content has been added on 30-05-2018

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