Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni ba
Main Stage, Saturday 2015
Bassekou Kouyaté’s extraordinary musical journey shows that he is unquestionably the most innovative and exciting Malian musician to have emerged in recent years. Having defied tradition he continues to push the boundaries of his ancient musical heritage, bringing his music to audiences around the world with his phenomenal live band Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni ba and three internationally acclaimed albums.
In less than 6 years, since the release of his first album, Bassekou Kouyaté has forged a distinctive sound earning him numerous awards. His debut album Segu Blue released by outhere records, became one of the most celebrated African releases of 2007, and was awarded Album of the Year and Best African Artist at the BBC 3 Awards for World Music. The second album earned him his first Grammy Award nomination in 2011.
His third album Jama ko followed in January 2013. The album has been celebrated around the world, with the Guardian calling it “defiant, angry new music from Mali by the world's greatest exponent of the ngoni, the ancient West African lute … Magnificent.”
Over the course of his career Bassekou has played with stars such as Bonnie Raitt and Bono and won praise from legends like Eric Clapton. He also made a foray into blues and country with Taj Mahal and created freewheeling improvisations with banjo maverick Bela Fleck. He has performed on stage with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, John Paul Jones, Damon Albarn and many more.
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni ba now tour the world playing hundreds of performances a year ranging from New York’s Central Park and Fuji Rock in Japan to Glastonbury and Latitude festivals.