Best Music of Mali


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Best Music of Mali

  1. 1. The Music of Mali
  2. 2. Mandinka (Manding, Mandingo) and also for their unique musical instrument, the kora. The kora is a The Great Mosque of Djenné is the largest mud brick or adobe The Hunters Are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa with an estimated twenty-one string harp-like instrument made out of a gourd covered building in the world and is considered by many to be the greatest lie at the heart of Malian history and haveleft their mark over all population of eleven million. They are the descendants of the Empire with cow skin. achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. the civilizations of Mali: Bamanan, Mandinkav, Dogon, Peul, Sara- of Mali, which rose to power under the rule of the great Mandinka kolé, Songhai and many others. Guardians of the animistic rites, Music Project from Mali - Part 1+2 king Sundiata Keita. The Mandinka in turn belong to West Africa’s the hunters are by far the oldest traditional organization spared by largest ethno-linguistic group, the Mandé.. the sands of time; neither Islam nor Christianity have succeeded in Originally from Mali, the Mandinka gained their independence modifying their character. from previous empires in the thirteenth century, and founded an empire which stretched across West Africa. They migrated west from the Niger River in search of better agricultural lands and more op- portunities for conquest. During the 16th, 17th and 18th century as many as a third of the Mandinka population were shipped to the Americas as slaves through capture in conflict. A significant part of the African-Ameri- cans in the United States are descended from the Mandinka people. The Mandinka have a rich oral history that is passed down through praise singers or griots. This passing down of oral history through music has made music one of the most distinctive traits of the Mandinka. They have long been known for their drumming The Super Rail Band Salif Keita Mory Kanté Djelimady Tounkara Habib Koité S alif Keita (born 1949) is an internationally recog- T nized afro-pop singer-songwriter. He is unique not only  he Rail Band is one of the most popular musi- B because of his reputation as the Golden Voice of Africa,  cal groups in the history of Malian music. The band  but because he has albinism and is a direct descendant  orn in 1958 to musical parents, from whom he  performed regularly at the Buffet Bar at the Station  of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keita. This  learned instrumentation by watching and listening.  Hotel in Bamako, performing Manding music. The band  royal heritage meant that under the Malian caste sys- He joined the Bamako National Institute of Arts and  performs traditional-style music, using kora and  tem, he should never have become a singer, which was  M ory Kanté (born 1950 in Guinea) is an acclaimed vo- became a conductor in 1978 after only six months of  balafon with Islamic-style vocals and elements of Latin  deemed to be a griot’s role.Keita was born in the city  calist and player of the kora harp. He was born into one  One of the foremost guitarists in Africa. Djelimady  playing. He graduated in 1982, and formed his band  music, in the Bambara language. of Djoliba. He was cast out by his family and ostracized  of Guinea’s best known families of griot (hereditary)  grew up surrounded with traditional music played by  Bamada in 1988. The name “Bamada” is a nickname for    The Rail Band’s lead singer at its inception was Salif by the community because of his albinism, a sign of bad  musicians. After being brought up in the Mandinka gri- members of his family. The Tounkaras are Griots, musi- residents of Mali’s capital city Bamako, and the word  Keita, and the group soon became a training ground  luck in Mandinka culture. He left Djoliba for Bamako in  ot tradition in Guinea, he was sent to Mali at the age of  cians and historians by birth. Djelimady played djembe  roughly translates as “In the mouth of the crocodile.  for many of Mali’s most popular performers, like  1967, where he joined the government sponsored Super seven years – where he learned to play the kora, as well  drum and xalam, a banjo-like lute, as a boy. When he  Koité is known primarily for his unique approach to  singer Mory Kanté and guitarist Kante Manfila. Guitar- Rail Band de Bamako. as important voice traditions, some of which are neces- moved to Mali’s capital, Bamako, during the 1960s, he  playing the guitar by tuning it on a pentatonic scale  ist Djelimady Tounkara has been a member of the band  sary to become a griot. In 1971 Kanté became a member  had actually planned to work as a tailor. But music  and playing on open strings as one would on a kamale  for most of its history. Yamore, with Cesaria Evora of the Rail Band, in which Salif Keïta was a singer. Keïta  proved a stronger calling. He started playing guitar in  n’goni. Other pieces of his music sound more like the left the band in 1973, leaving Kanté as the singer. a large, government-sponsored neighborhood band,  blues or flamenco Marigoundo   Kanté is best known internationally for his 1987 hit  Orchestre Misira. Voted the best guitarist in the band, Wassolon Foli, with Les Ambassadeurs song “Yé ké yé ké”, which was one of Africa’s best-ever  Djelimady was selected to join the Orchestre National  Wassiye selling hits as well as being a European Number One in  as rhythm guitarist, a great honor for the young player. Mansa 1988 making it the first ever African single to sell over    Tounkara became lead guitarist with the Rail Folon one million copies.  Band, one of the most popular musical groups in the  Africa history of Malian music, through a quarter century of @ Mondomix Yé ké yé ké, with Santana colorful history and constant change. Nyanafin Takamba Fanta Bourama Tama Mandjou I Ka Barra @ Mondomix Moko @ My Space @ My Space
  3. 3. Bamako MO DJ 21 string Kora (harp) The area of the city has been continuously inhabited since the Palaeolithic, but the founding of city occurred in the seventeenth century. With a population of 1,690,471, is the capital and largest city of Mali, and currently estimated to be the fastest growing city Dee Dee Bridgewater in Africa (6th fastest in the world). It is located on the Niger River, Balafon (marimba) near the rapids that divide the Upper and Middle Niger Valleys, in the southwestern part of the country. Bamako is the nation’s ad- 7F4&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=26 ministrative center, with a river port located in nearby Koulikoro, Njarka (violin) and a major regional trade and conference center. Bamako is the Djemba D27F4&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=45 7th largest West African urban center after Lagos, Abidjan, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar and Accra. 27F4&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=100 Markus James Toumani Diabate Mamadou Diabate Oumou Sangare Amadou & Mariam Boubacar Traoré, “Kar Kar” K ora player who has gained international acclaim for  A madou & Mariam are a musical duo from Mali. The  his music. Diabaté comes from a long family tradition  Wassoulou musician, a historic region south of the  pair, known as “the blind couple from Mali” has made a  of kora players. His family’s oral tradition tells of seventy  Niger River, and the music there is descended from  name for themselves playing Malian blues. In 1986 the  Renowned singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Traoré also  one generations of musicians preceding him in a patri- traditional hunting songs. Oumou Sangaré is consid- couple moved to the Côte d’Ivoire and recorded several  goes by the nickname Kar Kar, “the one who dribbles too  lineal line.  ered an ambassador of Wassoulou; her music has been  albums and eventually the album Sou Ni Tile in Paris,  much” in Bambara, a reference to his soccer playing.   He has collaborated with flamenco group Ketama,  inspired by the music and traditional dances of the  which became a hit in France. The duo has playing at  Traoré first became superstar in Mali and a symbol  with the American blues musician Taj Mahal, with the  region. She writes and composes her songs, which force- and recorded with international stars and festivals  of the newly independent country in the early 1960s.  American jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd. He also col- H e was born into a family of griots. At 16 he went to  fully support social criticism, especially concerning the  around the world. He had taught himself to play guitar and developed a  laborated with the Icelandic popular musician Björk. Bamako to study the kora with his cousin, the musician  place of women and their low position in society. unique style that blended American Blues music, Arab    The Symmetric Orchestra led by Toumani Diabaté is  Toumani Diabaté. Since his move to the U.S. in 1996,  Sénégal Fast Food, with Manu Chao music, and pentatonic structures found in the Mande  composed of mostly griots musicians from the across  Diabaté has performed with several musicians from  Wayeina cultural region.  Traoré has enjoyed international popu- the old Mande Empire, who play a mix of traditional  the country, including jazz players Randy Weston and larity, touring Europe, Africa, and North America. instruments including the kora, djembe, balafon and  Donald Byrd, as well as with a griot ensemble composed  Sabali       He was the subject of the 2001 film Je chanterai pour bolombatto, as well as modern ones. of musicians from Mali and the United States. In 2005,  Djama Kaissoumou toi (“I’ll Sing For You”), released in 2005. Diabaté was nominated for a Grammy Award, but lost Cantelowes to his cousin, Toumani. M’bifé Santa Mariya Yala Jarabi, with Ketama &playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=8 @ My Space Grassroots Festival 2001 with Alicia Keyes @ My Space @ My Space @ My Space @ My Space
  4. 4. Dogon Dogon Tuareg Dogon country Tombouctou Festival of the Desert - Part 1 & 2 atch?v=L6GVKbmCnGo&feat ure=related Tombouctou Ali Farka Touré Vieux Farka Touré Bassekou Kouyate Tinariwen Haira Arby Haira Arby N ick named the ‘The Nightingale of the North”. She is  Tinariwen Means “empty places”, is a band formed in  from the desert around Agouni, north of Timbuktu born  Touré is the son of Malian musician Ali Farka Touré.  into a family of mixed ethnicity a Songhai mother and  Vieux’s debut self-titled solo album, released online  1982 of Tuareg people who had been conscripted into  an Berber father.  in fall 2006 and in retail worldwide February 2007,  Muammar al-Gaddafi’s army. They play in the “music of    Singer and guitarist, and one of the Africa’s most  features Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté on several  the unemployed” style, and sing mostly in the French  and Tamashek languages. Their songs mostly cover  Desert Sessions internationally renowned musicians. His music is  tracks. It has been acclaimed by critics worldwide; Vieux  Taj Mahal describes him as a genius, a living proof widely regarded as representing a point of intersection  has proven in his energetic live shows that he is the heir  the subject of independence for their people from the  of traditional Malian music and its North American  to Ali’s talent, although he has affirmed his own style. government of Mali. They are said to be the first Tuareg  that the blues comes from the region of Segu. Bassekou  cousin, the blues. The belief that the latter is historically  band to use electric guitars. Kouyate is one of Mali’s best-known Ngoni players.  derived from the former is reflected in Martin Scorsese’s  Bamako jam He has collaborated with many important traditional  often quoted characterization of Touré’s tradition as musicians of his country as well as international such  Amassakoul’n’Tenere constituting “the DNA of the blues”. Touré was ranked  as Carlos Santana, U2 among many many others. Most number 76 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 100 Greatest  Bullet the Blue Sky recently he is featured on Ali Farkas posthumous album  Guitarists of All Time”. ‘Savane’ and toured with him leaving a lasting impres- Chet Boghassa   As the first African bluesman to achieve widespread  sion on the audience as the bands solo ngoni player. popularity on his home continent, Touré was often  @ My Space @ My Space known as “the African John Lee Hooker”. Musically, the Ngoni Fola many superpositions of guitars and rhythms in his music were similar to John Lee Hooker’s hypnotic blues  Tuareg People style. He usually sang in one of several African languag- Segou to London es, mostly Songhay, Fulfulde, Tamasheq or Bambara. VXNHc&feature=related Machengoidi @ My Space Diaraby Tuareg saddel
  5. 5. A griot or jeli Traditional donso ngoni James Leva & Cheick Hamala Diabate The heritage of the griot is a West African poet, praise singer, and wandering musician, considered a repository of oral tradition. The Jeli in Mande society Jeli Ngoni (banjo) was as a historian, advisor, arbitrator, praise singer (patronage), and storyteller. Essentially, these musicians were walking history books, The ngoni (xalam ) is a string instrument originating in West preserving their ancient stories and traditions through song. Their in- Africa. Its body is made of wood or calabash with dried animal herited tradition was passed down through generations. They were (often goat) skin stretched over it like a drum. In the hands of a said to have deep connections to spiritual, social, or political powers skilled ngoni instrumentalist, the ngoni can produce fast rapid as music is associated as such. Speech is also said to have power as it melodies. It appears to be closely related to the akonting and the can recreate history and relationships. xalam and this instrument family some believe to be the ancestor Griots form an endogamous caste, meaning that most of them of the American banjo. only marry fellow griots and that those who are not griots do not normally perform the same functions that they perform. Today they live in many parts of West Africa, including Mali, the Gambia, Guinea, Western Sahara and Senegal, and are present among the Mande peoples (Mandinka, Malinké, Bambara, etc.), Fule (Fula), Hausa, Songhai, Tukulóor, Wolof, Serer, Mossi, Dagomba, Mauri- Donso Ngoni tanian Arabs and many other smaller groups. Nabintou Diakité Issa Bagayogo Adama Yalomba Neba Solo Afel Bocoum Souleymane Traoré is the stage name In 2003, the western audience discovers an amazing re- who plays a kind of balafon, (marimba).of Neba Solo After listening cord that will reach directly the best seller positions in N’ Nalena to reggae music as a teenager, Traoré decided to experi- American charts for world music. What must be said is that Festival Au Desert 2003 compounded all the great- ment with his balafon’s design, adding three extra bass B orn 1955, Bocoum is noted as a singer and guitarist. keys to the instrument. In his group’s current form, He began his career in 1968, at the age of thirteen as a est and famous names of Malian Music, showed in all Ma Ouleni B Souleymane plays his specially adapted bass balafon member of Ali Farka Toure’s group ASCO, and Toure is its diversity (Ali Farka Touré, Tinariwen, Oumou Sangare, orn in 1961, Issa Bagayogo is a skilled player of the while Siaka plays the upper-register “lead” form of the often regarded as his mentor. Both men come from the Tartit, Afel Bocoum…), with some additional notorious kamele n’goni, a traditional lute-like instrument. instrument. Lyrics are sung in Traoré’s native Senoufo town of Niafunke on the River Niger, and are members guests as Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin). An Dia Bagayogo deftly melds Malian instruments and song language as well as in Bambara, Mali’s most widely of the Sonrai people. Bocoum is an agricultural advisor structures (long, repeated musical phrases over which spoken language. by profession. Mbora singers and players improvise and choruses chant—the In the summer of 2003, Neba Solo was part of Mali’s best-known performer of this music is Ali Farka Touré) delegation to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, one of with dub, trance, and electronic elements. He does so a small number of musical artists to be so honored. effectively that, as with his debut album Sya (1999), the Baara He has collaborated with artists from Mali as well as Jaman Moro result feels like a fully-integrated merger of the two tra- around the world, including French electronic musi- ditions rather than the shotgun marriage that “world cal artist Frédéric Galliano and the Iranian percussion music” can sometimes seem like. Politique group Trio Chemirani. Neba Solo has toured in Europe Ali Farka [a tribute] and North America in addition to Africa. Dambalou @ My Space Musow @MOG Toroya in Sikasso @ My Space @Deezer