Mamadou Diabaté Portrait

Mamadou Diabaté

Bamako, Mali

Mamadou Diabaté is a Malian musician and descendant of a griot family that has played music since the 13th century. His father was the great kora player, Sidiki Diabaté, and his brother, Toumani Diabaté, is widely acclaimed to be one of the best kora players in the world. Mamadou grew up in a musical environment and studied Music during his five years at the INA (National Institute of Arts) in Bamako. Music has also given him the opportunity to travel; he has been to Europe several times to perform with his band and toured the world with the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali.

Mamadou is the Co-Founder of the music school in Kirina and has worked with the Playing For Change Foundation during the entire process of creating and operating the school. He is now the Creative Director of the school, as well as percussion and musical theory teacher.

Mamadou has gone on to release numerous albums including his debut album, Tunga and Grammy nominated album Behmanka.

How we met:

Mamadou first contacted us to suggest the building of a PFC music school in Kirina, Mali. After meeting with him in December, 2009 and starting the school project, he took us to Kirina with Baaba Maal and other musicians from Mali, where we recorded Dreams of Kirina as well as Three Little Birds, under a mango tree in the village.

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