Toumani Diabate

(Website)

Born in 1965 into a family that boasts 70 generations of musicians, praise singers and griots, Toumani Diabaté has imposed himself as one of Mali’s most outstanding contemporary artists. His refined playing of the 21-string harp called the kora has attracted musicians as diverse as Taj Mahal, Peter Gabriel and Spain’s Ketama group. His international debut Kaira set the standards for the modern kora. Diabaté marked the 20th anniversary of this release with the The Mandé Variations, a powerful re-interpretation of classic Malian tunes.

Albums

Toumani & Sidiki

Label: World Circuit
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: May 06, 2014

In a rare father-and-son collaboration, Toumani Diabaté, genius of African music, descendant of a line of West African Mandé griots stretching back 700 years and widely recognised as the greatest living kora player, has recorded an album of duets with his son Sidiki, the instrument’s emerging star.
Described as “the finest Toumani collaboration since his classic work with Ali Farka Touré” (The Guardian) ‘Toumani & Sidiki’ is a profound and evocative dialogue conducted through the kora, the 21-string West African harp which the Diabaté dynasty has elevated into the most iconic of African instruments.

Toumani Diabate - Toumani & Sidiki

Ali & Toumani

Label: World Circuit
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: February 26, 2010

Recorded over three afternoons at Livingston Studios, London, in 2005, with contributions from Orlando ‘Cachaíto’ López on bass; produced by Nick Gold and beautifully recorded by Jerry Boys: This is the successor to the GRAMMY winning ‘In the Heart of the Moon’ and also the last album recorded by both Ali Farka Touré and Cachaíto López. Toumani Diabate comments: “I believe this album to be stronger and wiser, better than ‘In The Heart’”. In terms of the musical concept, of the arrangements, in the playing, we have invested ourselves totally. The idea was to make an album that was wiser, more gentle, an acoustic album that we could savor. Ali had a gift. He was a musical phenomenon, a pioneer, a teacher. I think that God created him for this purpose, with the mission to promote African culture, and especially the culture of Mali, but all over Africa and the whole world. He was unique in his context; a historian, a marabou, a healer. A multidimensional human being.
Toumani Diabaté and his band will play his interpretations of the music of Ali Farka Touré in a series of special concerts starting in April 2010.
“The sheer brilliance of their collaboration is bewildering.” The Times

Toumani Diabate - Ali & Toumani

The Mandé varations

Label: World Cicuit Records
Release date: February 01, 2008

The Mandé Variations breaks new ground for the kora in many ways, establishing this West African harp as one of the world’s great solo musical instruments. Superbly recorded so that we can hear every touch of the strings, every throb and creak of the instrument’s wood and sinew, it is an African classical album that rocks and swings, that has learnt from Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix, yet remains true to the Malian griot music that is its heritage. Toumani Diabaté, one of Africa’s most remarkable musicians, has produced at once the definitive statement of where the kora is today and one of the most beautiful and accessible albums you will hear.

Toumani Diabate - The Mandé varations

Boulevard de l'indépendance

Label: World Circuit Records
Release date: April 01, 2006

Toumani Diabaté is one of the great figures in African music. This super-charged, traditional meets modern dance-band album unites the two sides of his remarkable musical personality – the virtuosic traditionalist and the restless innovator. Recorded in a series of all night sessions at Mali’s Hotel Mandé, it packs the fruit of ten years experimentation into some of the densest, punchiest, most richly textured music you’ll ever hear.

Toumani Diabate - Boulevard de l'indépendance

In the heart of the moon

Label: World circuit Records
Release date: June 01, 2005

In the Heart of the Moon is a unique album of duets from Ali Farka Toure (guitar) and Toumani Diabate (kora), two of Africa’s greatest musicians. It was recorded using a mobile studio in the Hotel Mandé, on the banks of the Niger River in Bamako, Mali. Also featuring contributions from Ry Cooder.
“The most beautiful music on earth.” MOJO

Toumani Diabate - In the heart of the moon