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Toumani Diabate

Listen to Toumani Diabaté's Neo-Classical Song 'Mamadou Kanda Keita'

The new single blends Diabaté's traditional Malian kora music with the classic sounds of the London Symphony Orchestra.

The legendary Malian composer Toumani Diabaté has released a new single "Mamadou Kanda Keita" with the London Symphony Orchestra. The song comes off his collaborative upcoming album Kôrôlén which is anticipated to drop this April. "Mamadou Kanda Keita" mixes Diabaté's traditional Malian kora music with the classic sounds of the London Symphony Orchestra. The song calls for a gentle ear to listen to it and unveils the forgotten common grounds for Africa's ancestral sounds.


The "Mamadou Kanda Keita" single has been described as meditative African music because of Diabaté's fine-tuned kora playing skills. The track features a vocal performance from the eminent Malian griot (poet or storyteller) Kasse Mady Diabaté and is an interpretation of "Mamadou Boutiquier," Diabaté 's Grammy-winning album with Ali Farka Touré.

Read: Ballaké Sissoko Speaks About US Customs Breaking His Kora

While most modern African music is known around the world today for fast beats and dance grooves, Diabaté reinvokes the gentle, mystical side of African & Malian music that is generally unheard in today's new musical sub-genres. The 55-year-old artist stated upon the release of the single that he wanted the world to "look at African music in a new way" whereby the ancient kora instrument and Western orchestra meet to create a sophisticated sound. The merging of Diabaté's traditional Malian music with classical musical reportedly began in 2008 in a live performance at the Barbican. The live recording of that performance resulted in "Mamadou Kanda Keita" and Kôrôlén.

The album name Kôrôlén is borrowed from the Mandinka language meaning "ancestral" and will be released through Diabaté's record label World Circuit Records on the 23rd of April.

Listen to "Mamadou Kana Keita" below.

Toumani Diabaté And The London Symphony Orchestra - Mamadou Kanda Keita (Official Video) youtu.be

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Photo credit PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

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