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Habib Koité

African

Habib Koité

Habib Koité
A favorite of
Darren Farnsworth

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04.13.2019
'Den Ko'
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African
Updated Apr 2019

Habib Koité (Bambara: Habib Kuwate, born 1958 in Thiès, Senegal) is a Malian musician, singer, songwriter based in Mali. His band, Bamada, is a supergroup of West African musicians, which included Kélétigui…

Habib Koité (Bambara: Habib Kuwate, born 1958 in Thiès, Senegal) is a Malian musician, singer, songwriter based in Mali. His band, Bamada, is a supergroup of West African musicians, which included Kélétigui Diabaté on balafon until his death in 2012.

Koité is known primarily for his unique approach to playing the guitar by tuning it on a pentatonic scale and playing on open strings as one would on a kamale n'goni. Other pieces of his music sound more like the blues or flamenco which are two styles he learned under Khalilou Traore.

Koité's vocal style is intimate and relaxed, emphasizing calm, moody singing rather than operatic technical prowess. Members of Bamada play talking drum, guitar, bass, drum set, harmonica, violin, calabash, and balafon. Koité composes and arranges all songs, singing in English, French, and Bambara.

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