Friday, 28 December 2018

Habib Koite & Bamada - 2017.Nov.21 - Mulheim WDR3

Habib Koite 2017.Nov.21 in Mulheim (source: Radio WDR3)
Habib Koite was born in 1958 in Thiès, a Senegalese town situated on the railway line* connecting Dakar to Bamako, where his father worked on the construction of the tracks. Six months after his birth, the Koite family returned to the regional capital of west Mali, Kayes, and then to Bamako. Habib comes from a noble line of Khassonke griots, traditional troubadors who provide wit, wisdom and musical entertainment at social gatherings and special events. Habib grew up surrounded by seventeen brothers and sisters, and developed his unique guitar style accompanying his griot mother. He inherited his passion for music from his paternal grandfather who played the kamele n'goni.
On the insistence of his uncle, who recognized Habib's musical talent, he enrolled at the National Institute of Arts (INA) in Bamako, Mali. In 1978, after only six months, he was made conductor of INA Star, the school's prestigious band. He studied music for four years, graduating in 1982. During his studies, Habib had the opportunity to perform and play with a series of recognized Malian artists, including balafon master Keletigui Diabate and Toumani Diabate. Keletigui Diabate was, till his death in 2012, a fulltime member of Habib's band Bamada.
Habib takes some unique approaches to playing the guitar. He tunes his instrument to the pentatonic scale and plays on open strings as one would on a kamale n'goni. At other times Habib plays music that sounds closer to the blues or flamenco, two styles he studied under Khalilou Traore a veteran of the legendary Afro-Cuban band Maravillas du Mali. Unlike the griots, his singing style is restrained and intimate with varying cadenced rhythms and melodies.
Mali has rich and diverse musical traditions, with many regional variations and styles particular to local cultures. Habib is unique in bringing together different styles, creating a new pan-Malian approach  The predominant style played by Habib is based on the danssa, a popular rhythm from his native city of Keyes. He calls his version danssa doso, a Bambara term he coined that combines the name of the popular rhythm with the word for hunter's music (doso), one of Mali's most powerful and ancient musical traditions.
In 1988, Habib formed his own group, Bamada (nickname for Bamako residents, roughly meaning "in the mouth of the crocodile"), with young Malian musicians who had been friends since childhood. In 1991, Habib won first prize at the Voxpole Festival in Perpignan, France, which earned him enough money to finance the production of two songs. One of those tracks, "Cigarette A Bana (The Cigarette is Finished)" was a hit throughout West Africa. After the release of another successful single, "Nanale (The Swallow),” Habib received the prestigious Radio France International (RFI) Discoveries prize. This award made it possible for the group to undertake their first tour outside of Africa during the summer of 1994.
In 1995 January Habib met Michel De Bock of Contre-Jour, together they recorded Habib's first album Muso Ko, which became one of the year's most popular in the European World Music Charts. From that point forward, Habib became a fixture on the European festival circuit and began to spread his infectious music and high energy shows around the world.
summarized from

Personal notes: enjoyed several concerts by Habib Koite & Bamada (with Keletigui Diabate!) in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Later years they didn't perform near where I was living then, so haven't seen them recently, but this concert is making me interested again in seeing them perform. Allas not with Keletigui anymore, as he died in 2012 at the respectable age of 81 years (note the thanks from habib to him in the 2007 bonustrack)
*used that train going from Mali to Senegal in the early 1990s, great memories about that travel!!

Listen to Fiamani (incl.thanks to Keletigui) from the 2007 concert

HABIB KOITE 20171121 - Mulheim WDR3

Habib Koite & Bamada - 2017.Nov.21 - Theater an der Ruhr, Mulheim, Germany
setlist: (DJ intro) / 01.I Mada / 02.Terere / (DJ info and interview) / 03.Muso Ko / 04.Foro Bana / 05.Soo / Habib talks German / 06.LA / (DJ info and interview) / 07.Ntadima* / 08.Pulaku* / 09.Need You / 10.Medley - Wassiye - Cigarette a Bana - Kunfe Ta

line-up: Habib Koite - vocals, guitar / Abdoul Wahab Berhe - bass / Issa Kone - guitar, banjo, vocals / Charly Coulibaly - keyboard, vocals / Mama Kone - percussion, vocals / Mahamadou Kone - barra
bc.2018.Jan.22, WDR3 Konzert Klanglandschaft

BONUS: HABIB KOITE 20070913 - Mulheim WDR3

Habib Koite & Bamada - 2007.Sep.13 - Theater an der Ruhr, Mulheim, Germany
tracks: 1.Ma Ya*(incl.thanks to Keletigui!!) / 2.Nteri*

line-up: Habib Koite - vocals, guitar / Keletigui Diabate - balafon, violin / Abdoul Wahab Berhe - bass / Souleymane Ann - drums / Boubacar Sidibe - guitar, harmonica / Mahamdou Kone - barra
broadcasted as bonus after above concert in same program 

update: *corrections of tracks as commented by Ngoni (to be applied after downloading)


1995: Muso Ko (CD, Contre-Jour)
1997: Saramaya 2 (K7, Mali K7)
1998: Ma Ya (CD, Contre-Jour/Putumayo)
2001: Baro (CD, Contre-Jour/Putumayo)
2003: Foly! (live CD, Contre-Jour)
2007: Afriki (CD, Cumbancha/Contre-Jour)
2011: Acoustic Africa In Concert - with Bocoum and Mtukudzi ?(CD/DVD,  Contre-Jour)
2012: Brothers In Bamako - with Eric Bibb (CD, Contre-Jour)
2014: Soo (CD, Contre-Jour)

Enjoy the Show, and don't forget:
'Our Globe is Everybody's
and the Only One We Have!'


  1. Habib Koité is a talented musician, it hurts the record industry devitalize him progressively, international success is dangerous, and Habib has gone from creating great works to delivering albums for contract reasons. Muso Ko, Saramaya, Ma Ya, Baro created a new style very sincere and of great beauty, in Foly! began to lose strength, the tours affected the style of the group, they even played the songs more quickly, then only some interesting songs, but no important album.

    His record label is very jealous and they always gave me problems putting his videos on youtube.
    You can see here an old video of the song Nanalé, originally called Donso.

    Warn some errors in the songs you have shared, Pulaku corresponds to 08 in the order and Ntadima to 07,(are inverted),The song with the Keletigui violin is not Fiamani, nor Fimani, it is Ma ya and the next song is not Ntesse, it is Nteri (Friend).
    I take this opportunity to clarify a very repeated error in the Biography,"Cigarette A Bana (The Cigarette is Finished)" should be "never Cigarette again", "A bana" is used to give a resounding no, if you listen to the song it says "Cigarrette no more".
    And just to thank those wonderful minutes that I have spent with my dear Keletigui Diabaté.

    1. Thanks Ngoni, agree about those first albums, the only one I have from Habib and his band.

      And for those who have already downloaded, please correct* tracks as follows:

      Habib Koite & Bamada - 2017.Nov.21
      07.Ntadima* / 08.Pulaku*

      Habib Koite & Bamada - 2007.Sep.13
      1.Ma Ya* (incl.thanks to Keletigui!!) / 2.Nteri*