Mamadou Diabate

The kora is a intimidating instrument, a 21-string harp, with a towering neck, and a resonator made from an enormous, elaborately detailed, pumpkin-sized gourd. At 6’7”, the immense Malian musician Mamadou Diabate is just as intimidating — until his stout thumbs and elegant fingers begin to gently flow across his instrument’s strings, and amazing streams of sound pour forth. The kora is the traditional instrument of the griots, the artists who have acted as society’s storytellers, historians and aural documentarians in the West African nation of Mali since the 13th century. Yet, while... Read More

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