Bassekou Kouyate, returns to Roulette after his fantastic performance in the Spring of 2023. Descended from a long line of griots (storytellers/historians), Kouyate is Mali’s legendary master of the ngoni, an ancient West African lute that is an ancestor of the banjo. Renowned for his innovations, he takes the ngoni into the 21st century and is credited with creating the first ensemble featuring ngonis of different sizes to provide the different “voices” needed for the music. In his long career, he has collaborated with such musical icons as Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré, Taj Mahal, Paul McCartney, Bono, Bonnie Raitt, and Béla Fleck, and toured the world with his powerful Ngoni Ba ensemble. Amy Sacko, Bassekou’s wife, performs lead vocals and has been called the “Tina Turner of Mali.”
“the world’s greatest exponent of the ngoni….exhilarating…magnificent” -The Guardian
“Ngoni virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate can make notes bend like light rays in the desert heat.” – Time Out
This event is a coproduction with Robert Browning Associates and Lotus Music & Dance.