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“Jama Ko” – Video release of Jama ko

Bassekou Kouyate is celebrating the release of his album ‚Jama ko‘ with the launch of his brandnew videoJama ko‘. The video is a cry for tollerance and peace. Bassekou invited the Christian community, Muslims, Touareg friends like Manny Ansar (head of the festival au desert), the tailor from next door and many other people to celebrate the open spirit of Mali. Bassekou launched the video on TV in Bamako on Africable and ORTM to spread the message.

The situation for musicians in Bamako is still difficult since the government has proclaimed a state of emergency. Public concerts and all large gatherings are being postponed until the situation has calmed down.


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Bassekou Kouyate visits UK


Bassekou & Ngoni ba at BBC One’s Andrew Marr show playing Jama ko on the day after the sold out Sahara Soul performance at Barbican in London, special guest Andy Morgan.

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Bassekou Kouyate speaks about the situation in Mali

interview with Bassekou Kouyate in The Times newspaper 18 Jan 2013

If you are a subscriber to the Times also check it out here.

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Bassekou Kouyate returns with new Album “Jama ko”

Mali’s ngoni ace returns. After his celebrated debut album Segu Blue, the Grammy nominated follow up I speak fula and hundreds of concerts all over the globe, Bassekou Kouyate is back with his new album Jama ko.


Release dates:
UK, 28. Jan 2013 / Europe, AUS, NZ, 1. Mar 2013 / US, Can, April 2013


Jama ko is the title of his new offering. It means ‘big gathering of people’. Jama ko is a call for unity, peace and tolerance in a time of crisis. “Jama ko, c’est pour tout le monde”, says Bassekou Kouyate, griot and celebrated ngoni player, explaining the title of his third album, “There are over 90% muslims in Mali, but our form of Islam here has nothing to do with a radical form of sharia: that is not our culture. We have been singing praise songs for the prophet for hundreds of years. If the Islamists stop people music making they will rip the heart out of Mali.” No matter who you are, let us come together and enjoy life, and celebrate the true spirit of Mali.


The album became political by accident. In the afternoon of the first day in the studio in Bamako the military overthrew the former president. It was a shock for Bassekou as he was a great supporter of his music. Despite power cuts, fuel shortages and daily curfews the recording went on and a musical answer started taking shape. Bassekou plugged in his wah wah pedal, cranked up his amp and let loose…



Many of the songs on the album are a reaction to the situation in Mali: The opener Jama ko (‘big gathering of people’) asks people to come together no matter if they are rich or poor, no matter where they are from. It is a call for unity, peace and tolerance in a time of crisis. Kele Magni is a duet between Amy Sacko and Khaira Arby from Timbuktu, calling for peace. Sinaly, a Latin-flavoured song featuring Kasse Mady Diabate talks about Sinaly Diarra, a Bamana king famous for resisting forced Islamisation in the 19th century. Ne me fatigue pas has Bassekou playing a wild ngoni solo full of anger and despair about what is going on in Mali. In Mali Koori Zoumana Tereta praises the cotton farmers of Mali with a voice that takes you back into the time of the great Bambara warriors. Another highlight is Poye 2 featuring an incredible jam between Bassekou and Taj Mahal (vocals / electric guitar) The album ends with Moustafa a song by Bassekou’s son Moustafa dedicated to his parents thanking them for all they have done for him.


Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Godspeed you! black emperor, Coeur de Pirate) recorded the album in Mali and ended up mixing and co-producing most of it back home in Montreal. Andrew and Brad Barr (Barr Brothers) added drums and guitar. Mocky Salole (Feist, Jamie Lidell) came up with arrangements and played organ and drums. (full tracklist + snippets)


Bassekou Kouyate – Jama ko (Single)


With the war waging in the north and French jets flying attacks on the islamists, the government has told people to stay away from bars and restaurants in fear of terrorist attacks. Most live music clubs have closed and even the usual sunday weddings have become few. While Bamako has become quiet Bassekou is getting ready for his Europe tour. After a stunning appearances at the latest Africa Express events performing with Sir Paul McCartney, Damon Albarn etc, and headlining the AfroCubism project he will perform in London (Barbican), Paris (La Gaite Lyrique) and at WOMAD Festival in Australia and New Zealand.


Tourdates:

26.01.13 UK-London Barbican / Sahara Soul with Tamikrest & Sidi Touré

27.01.13 UK-Glasgow Celtic Connec. Sahara Soul with Tamikrest & Sidi Touré

29.01.13 FR-Paris La Gaite Lyrique. Sahara Soul with Tamikrest & Sidi Touré

31.01.13 NL-Utrecht Rasa

01.02.13 DE-Karlsruhe Tollhaus

02.02.13 CH-Zürich Moods

03.02.13 CH-Bern Turnhalle im Progr

08.03.13 AUS-WOMADelaide Botanic Stage

11.03.13 AUS-WOMADelaide Botanic Stage

16.03.13 NZ-WOMAD New Plymouth

17.03.13 NZ-WOMAD New Plymouth

Summertour scheduled for May, June, July


„If the islamists stop people music making they will rip the heart out of Mali”


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Bassekou returns from US Tour + new Afrocubism Project

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Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba are now back in Mali after playing a sensational tour in the US with over 70 dates. They had a chance to perform in venues like the Carnegie Hall or Central Park Summer Stage and were joined on stage by the likes of Bela Fleck, Taj Mahal, Howlin‘ Wolfs former bandmembers and many others. Thanks to our great new partner Next Ambiance / Subpop in Seattle.

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba are now back in Mali after playing a sensational tour in the US with over 70 dates. They had a chance to perform in venues like the Carnegie Hall or Central Park Summer Stage and were joined on stage by the likes of Bela Fleck, Taj Mahal, Howlin‘ Wolfs former bandmembers and many others. Thanks to our great new partner Next Ambiance / Subpop in Seattle.

In autumn 2010 Bassekou will be back in Europe and the US but this time not with his band but headlining World Circuit’s Afrocubism project together with Eliades Ochoa, Toumani Diabate, Djelimady Tounkara and others. They will be playing festivals in Europe and the US starting early november. Check out Songlines cover story on the project in their current edition.

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