Out Now! Andra Kouyaté and Sèkè Chi “Saro”
Out now! Saro, by Andra Kouyate and Seke Chi
Andra Kouyaté hails from a musical griot family. He started learning to play the n’goni, an African lute, at the age of seven with his father Moutapha Kouyaté in Garana (Mali). In 1989 he moved to Bamako, improving his playing with different groups like the national orchestra, Badema National.
In 1997 Andra began touring with Rokia Traoré with whom he participated on three albums: “MOUNEÏSSA”, “WANITA” and “BOWMBOI”. Andra continued to tour internationally with Rokia Traore for eight years and during this same period played regularly with Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré, and participated on Fantani Toure’s album “N’TIN NAARI”.
With his brother Bassekou Kouyate, in 2005 Andra created the group “NGONI BA” and together they recorded the album “SEGU BLUE”. This was followed by a hugely succesful European tour. Still on tour with Bassekou, in 2007 Andra participated on Habib Koité’s album “AFRIKI”, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s album “RED EARTH”, and the album “KIRIKOU ET KARABA” under the direction of Michel Ocelot. During this same time he contributed to Oumou Sangaré’s recent release “SAYA” and “ALU MAYE” by Leni Stern. Andra is presently touring with the new group RAAGA TRIO, which is an exciting meeting between traditional West African music and jazz. Andra Kouyaté is the creator of the N’goni Bass (bass lute), a kind of West African contrabass. This invention has permitted him to develop a way of playing that is quite different from the traditional n’goni styles. A truly innovative artist.
Tapping deep into traditional Bamana, Puel and Maninka sources, he is a master on the n’goni, bass n’goni and tamani (talking drum). Through his creativity, Andra Kouyaté shows us how traditional instruments can be used without bounderies or limitations in variety of musical genres.