Bassekou Kouyate

North America

Bassekou Kouyate is a Malian master of the olden lute known as the Ngoni. As the leader of his own band Ngoni Ba, which is comprised of multiple registers of the Ngoni, vocals, and percussion, he has performed on some of the world’s largest jazz and world music stages. The effortlessly talented BBC ‘African Artist of the Year’ (2008) and Grammy-nominated ‘Ngoni virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate can make notes bend like light rays in the desert heat (Time Out magazine).’ His recent album, Miri, released in early 2019 and is a return to his acoustic roots. The Guardian praises Kouyate for his ‘spellbinding’ performance on the album, calling his playing ‘pulsing and ingenious.’ Basskou’s involvement in the critically acclaimed film Mali Blues and his exceptional recordings have only added to a renowned recognition built on his solo, band, and collaborative works.