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Seckou Keita
Composition- kora- drum - voice

Seckou Keita is a brilliant live performer with stacks of charisma, Lucy Duran - Radio BBC3

" an inspired exponent of the Kora that can makes the West African harp-lute sound like a small band" Robin Denselow - Guardian

It is rare to see someone being outstanding at playing different instruments. But Seckou Keita is one of them and has been leaning simultaneously the kora and West African percussions.

Seckou Keita was born in Ziguinchor, Senegal on 14 February 1978 in a griot family (hereditary musicians). It was under the guidance of his uncle Solo Cissokho that Keita launched his international career in 1996. In the years that followed, Keita relocated to the UK and became the drummer of the popular world music group Baka Beyond in 1998, contributing to their well-received East To West album, and in 2000 began to record his own solo debut Baiyo (retitled Mali for a later release through Arc Music), which encompassed his musical journey to that date, from Africa to Europe, via India.

Seckou Keita, Master drummer

At the same time Seckou was developing his work on Kora with support slots to luminaries like Salif Keita and Youssou N'Dour, solo slots at London's Jazz Café and at Ireland's Sacred Music Festival, and a nomination in 2001 for BBC Radio 3's prestigious World Music Award, it's clear that Keita's many collaborations have fed and extended rather than diluted the African mainspring of his music. In 2003 and 2004,he concentrated on working on the family project in a band called Jalikunda Cissokho, for which he produced and album.

But since 2004, his work has really taken new dimension with the creation of the Seckou Keita Quartet. Hailing from Senegal, Italy, Egypt and The Gambia, this multi-national band are an exciting fusion of culture and experience. Counting Richard Bona, Bela Fleck and Bobby McFerrin amongst his influences, Seckou Keita leads the quartet with his experimental tunings and virtuoso kora playing (a West African stringed instrument likened to the harp or the lute). His charismatic personality is portrayed through his unique improvisational playing, supported by the double bass/electric bass of Davide Mantovani, the eclectic percussions of Surahata Susso, the distinguished sound of the violin by Samy Bishai and enchanting voice of the gracious Binta Susso - the newest addition to the band, turning the quartet into a quintet!

With a massively successful touring history and critically acclaimed album under their belt, Seckou is just about to release his new album " the Silimbo passage", out in June 2008.

A brilliant performer, Seckou also likes to share with people. His education work is less known to the public but is real. Seckou regularly works with a range of people and organisations ranging from school to festivals and professional drumming troup such as Tanante.

More info can be found on his website

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