Bassekou Kouyaté

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From: Garana, Mali

Sounds Like: Hendrix playing the ngoni lute

Bassekou Kouyaté, The legendary Malian virtuoso of the ngoni lute (“the Hendrix of the ngoni lute” is his unusual yet accurate tag), who has played with Taj Mahal, Paul McCartney, and Damon Albarn, released one of the best albums of 2015 according to Spin. It’s surely one of the most exciting electric sounds coming out of West Africa, a sound that’s only grown louder with Kouyaté collaboration with his brilliant Ngoni Ba band. Kouyaté is critically acclaimed all around the world, but it won’t be long before this man’s influence finally hits the American mainstream (this guy needs to get on a Kanye or Kendrick track soon).

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