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 their first Victorian headline show at Howler in Melbourne (in association with Multicultural Arts Victoria) on Thursday 18 January supported by The Senegambian Jazz Band.
As one of the world’s great ngoni players (an ancient form of lute), Kouyaté is 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, and comprised of musicians playing percussion and ngonis with a range of sizes and pitches.
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.
Catch them in Melbourne this week.
BASSEKOU KOUYATÉ & NGONI BA
Thursday 18 January
Howler: 7-11 Dawson St Brunswick
Senegambian Jazz Band: 8:30 – 9:15pm
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba: 9:45 – 11:00pm
Check out the bands unique sound.