Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté 2014 Global Tour and Interview

Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté

First of all, if you like traditional Malian music from Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, this is the post for you!

Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté


Indeed, highly respected father-and-son duo Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté team to record an album of unaccompanied duets for the kora, the ancient 21-string harp of West Africa are a please to listen to.

As you may know, over the years, Toumani Diabaté has established himself as the instrument’s modern master. Sidiki Sr. takes over his father’s skills. He records the first ever kora album in 1970.

While Sidiki Sr. is deeply rooted in the traditional music of his native Mali, Toumani brings the kora to the rest of the world. Toumani pushes the boundaries of his creativity by collaborating with artists of many different genres.

Toumani’s eldest son Sidiki also plays the kora. He is also a well-known drummer and beat programmer in his country, where he works with Malian rapper Iba One. But, while hip-hop is one of his passions, Sidiki still respects the mesmerising and complex instrument of his lineage.

Indeed, in 2013, they record a duet at London’s RAK Studios with World Circuit team. The album’s songs are deeply obscure kora pieces as well as Mande classics from Mali played with a contemporary approach.

Furthermore, check these links to:

  • find out more about their collaboration
  • download their music.


You can track and receive a notification on their next touring dates with Songkick. Nonetheless,  they may not collaborate together on each album. Notably, at present, they are not performing together.

Finally, check these videos below to:

  • get a snippet of their recorded music collaboration
  • know how a kora instrument is made.

If you have already attended any concerts, what did you think of them?

Manden Express and Ghanian dancer guest live performances in Dublin (2014)


Manden Express is a thrillingly explosive Dublin-based international band. It fuses traditional and contemporary styles of West African music from the Mande Empire (Mali),  alongside infectious Afrobeat rhythms.


Manden Express is inspired by Wassalou (Oumou Sangare) styles and the explosion of new musical influences that merged with African music in the 1960′s.

They blend:

  • kamele n’goni
  • harp,
  • Kora,
  • djembé,
  • drums

with electric bass and guitar to produce stomping grooves and hypnotic time patterns.


The band went through a singer change. Indeed, Emma who used to be the band lead singer is now leading her own neo-soul band called Fehdah‘.

This is how the new Manden Express band looks like now. You can view their last year’s performance with their updated line-up at Hotter than July’s festival.

Manden Express


I attended two of their live performances at the Sugar Club, Dublin on July and August 2014.

They had a special guest Godfred Asare, a Ghanian dancer, who accompanied them at their first show.

You may want to check their blog and their Facebook fan page for upcoming shows.

Enjoy the below pictures and videos from the events!

Guinea Bissau – Sadjo Sissokho, afro mandinga kora player

I discovered Sadjo Sissokho’s peaceful kora music on Grafton Street, Dublin 2. Some of you may ask: but what is a kora?

The kora is a 21-string bridge-harp used extensively in West Africa. It is built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator with a long hardwood neck. Have a look at the pictures below of the musician with his instrument.

Sadjo Sissokho Kora Player

Sadjo Sissokho

You may also wonder who Sadjo Sissokho is. He is a kora, djembe player as well as teacher hailing from Guinea Bissau and living in Co. Meath, Ireland. Sadjo has already been performing at different festivals such as Africa Day, Electric Picnic and collaborating with Wassa Wassa.

Here is a little sample of what kind of music he plays:

Now if you wish to get in touch with him, check out this forum about african musicians and communities in Ireland: