Meet Mali’s Jimi Hendrix: Bassekou Kouyate
Bassekou Kouyate can be thought of as the Jimi Hendrix of Mali. But instead of the guitar, Kouyate is a master of the ngoni, the ancient traditional lute found throughout West Africa (and probably at many Phish shows as well).
Backed by his band — Ngoni Ba (four ngonis — all played by members of his family) — Kouyate has just released his second album, I Speak Fula, which Sub Pop! records describes as a star-studded tour of pan-Malian music, including collaborations with Toumani Diabaté, griot vocal legend Kasse Mady Diabaté, master of the horse-hair soku fiddle Zoumana Tereta, and guitar phenomenon Vieux Farka Toure, Ali’s precociously talented son.
And you spent high school playing the boring old guitar.
Posted on April 20, 2010 by Matt Stabile