Malian legend Bassekou Kouyaté and his band Ngoni Ba are one of the most exciting acts in African music today, and Top Shelf Productions is pleased to announce their return to Australia in 2018 with appearances their first Victorian headline shows at Howler in Melbourne (in association with Multicultural Arts Victoria) on Thursday 18 January with support from the Senegambian Jazz Band.
As one of the world’s great ngoni players (an ancient form of lute), Kouyaté’s no traditionalist: he plays as if it were a rock instrument, adding electric guitar effects like distortion and wah-wah pedals. Kouyaté’s band Ngoni Ba (in the Bambara language “ba” means both “strong” and “group”) is fronted by his wife, the fantastic singer Amy Sacko, (the so-called “Tina Turner of Mali”) and comprised of musicians playing percussion and ngonis with a range of sizes and pitches.
Born in a village called Garana, almost 40 miles from Segu, in the remote countryside on the banks of the Niger River. Bassekou was raised in a traditional musical environment, his mother a praise singer and his father and brothers exceptional ngoni players. Bassekou moved to Bamako when he was 19 years old where he met the young Toumani Diabate and became part of Toumani’s trio recording albums together.
After many years of playing with Malian stars such as Toumani and Ali Farka Toure, Bassekou decided it was time to put together his own band and has now shared stages with everyone from Paul McCartney to Blur’s Damon Albarn, and blown away audiences at Glastonbury, Roskilde, Fuji Rock Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival and WOMAD. His sound is the living, breathing, and modern music of Mali, fuelled by powerful electric blues.
“The best rock’n’roll band in the world” – THE INDEPENDENT
“Album of the Year & African Artist of the Year” – BBC RADIO 3 AWARDS, 2008
“Ba Power feels like another dramatic leap forward and a further landmark in the integration of African tribal rhythms and western rock’n’roll” –UNCUT
Watch – ‘Siran Fen’ Video
Thursday 18 January, 2018 @ 8 PM
Howler, 7-11 Dawson St, Brunswick VIC
SPECIAL GUESTS: Senegambian Jazz Band