May 19, 2023


The pre-summer atmosphere before and after the concert is the perfect setting for the musical highlight of the evening! As soon as the doors to the concert barn open, you can feel a tense anticipation in the air. Guests take their seats after a relaxing glass of wine and immerse themselves in the captivating world of African music, Mali Blues.

Bassékou Kouyaté’s ensemble enters the stage and ignites a true firework of sounds and rhythms. The ngoni, this fascinating type of guitar, is masterfully played by the talented musicians. Bassékou Kouyaté himself inspires the audience with his virtuoso performance, while his wife Ami Sacko touches the hearts of the audience with her powerful voice. Accompanied by the rousing bass and percussion sounds, the concert barn fills with an electrifying energy.

The audience can hardly resist the pulsating rhythm and soon find themselves swaying along to the beat of the music. The pulsating performance hardly lets anyone sit still. The concert barn transforms into a place of shared experience and uninhibited expression. The guests feel the passion and devotion of the musicians, occasionally they stream into the aisles full of enthusiasm and dance to the African rhythms.

And then, as the concert approaches its climax, something unexpected happens: the ngoni players intone the Cuban folk song classic “Guantanamera.” A surprise that inspires the audience and encourages them to sing along. At this moment, different cultures and musical styles merge into magical unity.
The euphoric mood lasts even after the concert, the great atmosphere with wine and animated conversations reinforces the feeling of community and shared experience. It is an evening that inspires the senses, touches the hearts and transports visitors to another world. It’s an evening that will linger and continue to ignite a love of music and cultural diversity.

Photos: Bassekou Kouyate

Biography Bassekou Kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate was born in Garana, a small and multi-ethnic village 60 km from Segou located at the banks of the Niger river. He descended from a long line of griots on both sides. In the mid eighties Bassekou started playing the traditional sumu circuit, which soon put him in touch with another extraordinary musician such as the kora player Toumani Diabate. At the end of the 1980s, Bassekou became a founding member of Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra, which then included among others a young Habib Koite as lead singer. It was the Symmetric Trio that brought Bassekou to Europe for the first time to play at the festival in Dranouter in Belgium in 1990. Later that same year, Bassekou made his first trip to the USA, where he met the African American blues musician, Taj Mahal. In the mid 1990s Bassekou married Amy Sacko, a fine griot singer originally from northwest Mali. As a couple, they produced a number of popular cassettes and were in constant demand on the wedding circuit and on Mali television, where Amy was nicknamed “the Tina Turner of Mali”.

In 2005 Bassekou was invited by Mali’s “desert bluesman” Ali Farka Touré to play on his album ‘Savane’ and to join Ali on stage for his final tour in the summer of 2005. In the same year Bassekou decided to create his band Ngoni ba, a quartet of different sized ngonis.

It was a novel idea, but it was also very old – the rulers of precolonial Segu sometimes had bands of up to 30 or 40 ngoni players, all playing together. Since then Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba have toured the world playing hundreds of shows from NY Central Park to the Royal Albert Hall in London, from Roskilde to Glastonbury. Lately he performed with Africa Express and charged stages with musicians like Sir Paul McCartney, John Paul Jones, Damon Albarn and many more.


Segu Blue (Outhere, 2007)
I speak Fula (Outhere, 2009)
Jama Ko (Outhere, 2013)
Ba Power (Glitterbeat, 2015)
Miri (Outhere, 2019)