I met a guy playing the kora on the street last night. It is such a beautiful instrument to look at and to listen to. Here’s a description.
I asked the musician whether he was a griot. He pointed to the card in front of him with his name and said “My father was a griot and so was my grandfather. Diabate is a griot surname. Like Sissoko.”
Other griot names, I found out on this page are Kouyate, Traore, Susso/Suso and Tounkara.
It always makes me happy to see and hear a kora, so I thought that I would share my favourite kora song from my favourite kora album, entitled Kairaba Jabi with Dembo Konte and Kausu Kuyateh. I could listen to their conversations, because that is what it sounds like, for hours. It’s also the kind of music that makes you want to set out on a 10,000 mile journey.