Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Track of the Week

Toumani Diabaté – Jarabi

Continuing the recent posts of Malian griots, today’s track of the week is our second Toumani Diabaté song so far.

Considered by many to be “the world’s greatest kora player“, Diabaté will be entertaining London in the Royal Festival Hall in November. Again he comes from a rich family of kora players and oral historians including his father Sidiki Diabaté who recorded the first ever kora album in 1970.

His own research shows that his family have been doing this for 71 generations. Hundreds of years of human learning, knowledge and experience. History is contained in his work and that of his own family – which continues to make history also. To some of us it must appear strange for a person’s life’s work to be destined so. The on-going instability and violence in Mali are a threat to their existence – much like conflict is a threat to anything endangered and precious in the world. Luckily, due to the joy and respect for griots the world over there is a new generation taking up the reigns.

For now, with Toumani Diabaté, we still have an example of a generation that is still undoubtedly at its best.

Toumani Diabaté – Jarabi


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