Toumani Diabaté was born in Bamako, Mali, in 1965, in a griot family. His father was known as “the king of kora” and Toumani is the 71th generation of musician in his family. He started to play kora at the age of 5 and is now considered one of the greatest players of this traditional west african instrument. Toumani recorded his legendary album, Kaira (1988) in only a couple of hours and revolutionized the way of playing the kora, like Jimmy Hendrix revolutionized the way of playing the guitar. Today Toumani is touring the world with a project that gathers Cuban and African musician called Afrocubism and he his, with Salif Keita, the main ambassador of Malian music around the world. Toumani played an essential role during the creation of the Music school of Kirina, (Ecole de musique de Kirina), that opened its doors in october 2010. He is now our educational supervisor for the school and spreads the message of the PFCF. We also had the privilege to record Toumani in Bamako, on our organic version of Higher Ground featured on the new PFC album around the world.
How we met:
We met Toumani during our first trip to Mali, in December 2010, through his brother Mahamadou and recorded him on “Higher Ground”. He is since then a member of the PFC family.