(at Baltimore Avenue)
Philadelphia, PA 19143
The three musicians of Trio Da Kali hail from the Mande culture of Mali, from a heritage of distinguished griots, the caste of specialist hereditary musical artisans. They bring a fresh, contemporary, creative twist to their musical art, breathing new life back into this ancient tradition. Their performances offer a rare glimpse into the soul of the art of the griot, celebrating the African continent’s finest, most subtle and sublime music.
The trio’s performance revolves around the soaring, rounded vibrato voice of Hawa Kassé Mady (daughter of legendary singer Kasse Mady Diabaté), performing the songs she grew up with in Kela, at the heart of the griot world. There are dazzling solo balafon pieces by the group’s leader Lassana Diabaté on the 22-key balafon. Few can match his lyricism and virtuosity, and the resonant sound of the rosewood keys of his balafon. Mamadou Kouyaté (son of ngoni maestro Bassekou Kouyate) underpins the music with punchy bass lines on a large ngoni, West Africa’s oldest string instrument.
The group’s creation was sponsored by the Aga Khan Music Initiative in order to showcase neglected repertoires and performance styles of the griots. The trio’s first international appearance was at the BBC Proms in summer 2013; they have since gone on to collaborate with the celebrated Kronos Quartet, and were most recently seen with Toumani Diabate at last year’s London Jazz Festival.
Born near Lake Victoria in Uganda, Kinobe (pronounced “CHI-NO-BÉ”) began playing music as a child and by the time he was 21, he had visited every country in Africa, studying and playing with traditional musicians. Over the years as a touring musician, he has performed on numerous festivals along other African artists as such as Toumani Diabate, Youssou N’dour, Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Baaba Maal and many more. His first international performance was at the age of ten with his school ensemble and since then Kinobe has been captivating audiences with virtuoso performances of Ugandan and African roots music and, original compositions, reflecting a wealth of African and world influences. A multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Kinobe’s has dedicated his life to championing for a better future for children worldwide and using his music as a voice to unite the world.