Afro-beat/blues star Bassekou Kouyate plays his first Irish gig when he appears in Letterkenny as part of the 21st Earagail Arts Festival on July 10th.

Kouyate is credited with introducing the African ngoni (lute) to Western audiences, a pleasure now in store for a Donegal audience for the first time when he and his band, Ngoni Ba, play at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny on July 10th. 

“Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba have established themselves as one of the most exciting live acts of the moment with their rocking, high energy performances, much in the vein of his long-time collaborator Toumani Diabate who played to a sell-out crowd at last years festival” says Earagail Arts artistic director Paul Brown.

“This gig is a “must see” for followers of African blues and Griot culture, and fans of world music.  Bassekou Kouyate himself has collaborated with many big names from world music such as Ry Cooder, Bela Fleck and Youssou N’Dour, as well as other major acts including Carlos Santana and U2.”   

Born in a village on the banks of the Niger river, near Segu in Mali, Bassekou was raised in a traditional musical environment, his mother a praise singer and his father and brothers exceptional ngoni players.  He is a one time member of Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Trio and one of the key musicians on Ali Farka Toure’s posthumous album, ‘Savane’. 

His first album “Segu Blue” was released in the UK in the spring of 2007, to exceptional critical acclaim and won Album Of The Year Critics Award at the BBC Radio 3 Awards For World Music 2008. 

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