Bassekou Kouyate is a keeper of African tradition, a virtuoso and an innovator all at once. He is a master of the ngoni, an ancient West African stringed instrument. Kouyate has collaborated with renowned musicians like Bela Fleck, Youssou N’Dour, Ali Farka Toure, The Kronos Quartet, Taj Mahal and many more.
Kouyate’s debut album “Segu Blue” won several BBC Awards, and he was nominated for a Grammy for the follow-up record, “I Speak Fula.” Kouyate has performed all over the world, sharing the stage with legends like Paul McCartney, Bono, and John Paul Jones, to name a few.
His more recent solo works Jama Ko and BaPower went more in a rock and roll direction, but Kouyate found his way back to his roots with a new band, Nogni Ba Now. The group released a subtle, folksy album “Miri,” which means dream or contemplation in Bamana. The album is exactly that –– a contemplative, musical journey through love, family, friendships, and the true values of life. To record the instrumental song “Miri,” Kouyate traveled back to his hometown, a small village on the Niger River called Garana, where he could escape the noisiness of the city and quietly reflect on his life.