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Lansiné Kouyaté

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Biography

Lansiné Kouyaté see Lansine Kouyate
As youngest son of the famous Malian female bard Siramori Diabaté, Lansiné is born into the tradition of the Kela griots (French term for West African bards/diplomats). This group of griots is particularly recognized for its narrations of the Sundjata epopee. His mother remains for many Malian people one of the greatest jelimusow (female bard) who paved the way for Malians modern female singers.

Lansiné began playing the balafon with his father Nankoman Kouyaté. As he was still too young to join the famous national music groups of Mali, he first participated in local ceremonies in his home region within the Kangaba district, located about 100km from Bamako. At the age of 12, he was chosen by the national competition “Biennale” to join the prestigious « Ensemble instrumental national du Mali » (Malian National Instrumental Orchestra) where he met Ballaké Cissoko, Baba Sissoko, Toumani Diabaté and other artists.

In 1984 Lansiné’s first trip out of Mali was to France on a tour, where in 1989 he settled to play with his uncle Kassé Mady Diabaté’s group. In the 90s Lansiné played for six years with Salif Keita and world toured with his group. Since then, he has performed with a wide range of artists: Mory Kanté, Baaba Maal, Moriba Koita, Manu Dibango, Positive Black Soul, Sekouba Bambino, Hank Jones, Jean-Jacques Avenel, Cheick Tidiane Seck, etc. Building on his traditional music heritage, he discovered jazz and modern compositions but also theatre and other more experimental projects.

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