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BKO Quintet from Mali at Bossa Bistro

September 17, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

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Join us for an intimate concert with BKO Quintet from Mali at Bossa Bistro. BKO Quintet is a journey into the heart of contemporary Malian music, combining two of the West African nation’s most well-known traditions, and bringing together four of Mali’s finest veteran musicians: Ibrahima Sarr, Fassara Sacko, Nfali Diakité, and Abdoulaye Kone with French percussionist Aymeric Krol.

​The project began when Krol travelled to Bamako to study the djembefola drum under the tutelage of master drummer Ibrahima Sarr — who’s travelled the world alongside Oumou Sangare. Together, they assembled the core group of musicians that would become the BKO Quintet, combining the very distinct musical traditions of the Mandinka griots—jelis—with that of the Bambara hunters— donso— to create a completely new sound.

​Singer Fassara Sacko transporting voice brings griot magic, while YNfali Diakité — grandson of legendary donso master Yoro Sidibé — sings and plays the six-stringed donsongoni harp. Abdoulaye Kone, is a genius of the smaller djelingoni lute, and has developed a unique, almost psychedelic style, while touring with such artists as Tiken Jah Kafoly and Salif Keita.

​BKO Quintet’s first album, Bamako Today, was a long time coming. It was initially recorded as a live EP in January, 2012, as Mali was engulfed in the chaos of a coup d’etat and armed rebellion in the North of the country. Despite these crises, the quintet persevered, and was able to record more tracks in Paris in January of 2013, finally releasing the album internationally on the Buda Musique label in March, 2015.

​Afropop’s Banning Eyre wrote of that album: “BKO Quintet literally formed and made their first recordings amid crisis, and whatever the song lyrics might say, these performances exude a sense of urgency. The ensemble creates an engaging blend of rural and urban sensibilities. Prominent in the mix is the sound and feel of hunters’ music, with the heavy thrumming tones of the donsongoni (hunters’ harp) played by Nfali Diakite, who adds rap-like incantations that evoke ancient days when hunters were the storytellers and reporters of their village societies. At the same time, we have the sharp, nimble sound of the djelingoni (Abdoulaye Kone and Mbaba Sissoko) and portentous blasts of Mande griot oratory from Fassara Sacko.”

Though anchored in centuries-old traditions, BKO’s music will transport you to the heart of today’s urban Mali as well as to the ritual and mystical depths of animist hunters.


September 17, 2018
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm


Multiflora Productions
electriccowbell45 (at) gmail.com