Bassekou Kouyaté, from Mali, is a master player of the ngoni, one of West Africa’s oldest instruments. Bassekou is a griot – hereditary musician – and has taken this traditional lute with its skin sound table and long fretless neck, to audiences around the world. Multi-award winner, with four acclaimed solo albums and numerous collaborations, Bassekou is one of Africa’s most charismatic and brilliant performers, known for his bluesy-rock sound that fuses the music of his native Segou in central Mali with popular African-American styles.
But no matter how far he travels, Bassekou remains firmly in touch with his roots – in his home village, Garana, where he grew up, and where most of his family still live and practice centuries’-old music of oral tradition. This is the inspiration behind Bassekou’s new project, Garana Roots.