Mali, Mandingo guitar

Kala Jula Fama Diabaté & Gamgbé brass band

The art of Mandingo guitar playing.

Samba Diabaté is one of the most esteemed guitarists in Bamako, regularly called on by all the prestigious ambassadors of Mandingo music Toumani Diabaté to Djelimady Tounkara. Vincent Zanetti is the former stage companion of the late regretted djembe legend Soungalo Coulibaly. He accompanies Samba Diabate on zena, a bridge harp of the kora family recently created by the lute maker Gweltas Simon, guitar and various African percussion instruments. Samba Diabate and Vincent Zanetti were featured at the Africolor Festival and Musée du Quai Branly in December 2012.

“In essence, this album by Malian griot Samba Diabaté and Swiss world music specialist and multi-instrumentalist Vincent Zanetti is a friendly musical dialogue, on a variety of acoustic stringed instruments and percussion, that pays tribute to the nomadic cultures of Mali and to the spirit of adventure in general… You can almost imagine them sitting cross-legged on the desert floor, a wood fire crackling between them, the stars twinkling above…”
Howard Male
Songlines, avril/mai 2013

Samba Diabaté (guitare, jeli n’goni)

was born into a family of griots in Kita. Of his father, a member of the Mali Musical Ensemble, he learnt the art of the balafon at a young age – and it was with this instrument that he first performed internationally, accompanying the Wasolonka singer Sali Sidibé. A brilliant guitarist, he also played alongside Soungalo Coulibaly, a legend of the djembe who departed too early, in 2004. In 2001, Samba Diabate settled in Bamako where his uncle Sayon Sissoko taught him the art of the jeli n’goni, the traditional lute of the griots. Samba Diabate now rates amongst the most sought-after guitarists of the Malian capital city, and the most prestigious ambassadors of Mandingo music have been calling upon him, from Toumani Diabaté to Djelimady Tounkara.

Vincent Zanetti (djembé, guitare, zena)

co-founded the cross-cultural ballet company Djinn Djow, started the Palabres Bleues (‘blue chats’) blending jazz and Sahel music, and was for fourteen years Soungalo Coulibaly’s arranger and stage companion. As a world-music specialist at RTS (Swiss Radio-Television network), he has been hosting a weekly show called “L’écoute des mondes” (listening to the worlds). He is also the artistic director of the festival Notes d’Equinoxe in Delemont (Switzerland). Also the co-founder of the Bougou Saba cultural centre in Siby (Mali), he regularly performs in the villages of the Mande in Mali, his land of adoption.