Live at the 2011 Amarrass Desert Music Festival


Lakha Khan, Vieux Farka Touré, Madou Sidiki Diabaté, Nihal Khan, Barmer Boys
Live at Amarrass Desert Music Festival 2011



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Live at Amarrass Desert Music Festival 2011 features 8 tracks with over 70 minutes of music.

There is something about the vast openness of the desert that translates so easily from culture to culture, from the pungent sands of the Thar desert in India’s Rajasthan to the untamed Sahara of Mali’s fabled city of Timbuktu. The innovative Amarrass Desert Music Festival of 2011, recorded in the shadow of New Delhi’s ancient Siri Fort, captures both the quiet contemplation of Madou Sidiki Diabaté’s kora music, and the boisterous celebration of the Barmer Boys’ qawwali music. That all these styles come from the same sandy roots is clear in the final track, when Diabate, Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré and Rajasthani masters Lakha Khan, Dane Khan and the Barmer Boys take the stage together for one last jam.


Artists from Rajasthan, India and Mali in Africa jam at the Amarrass Desert Music Festival in New Delhi, November 26, 2012 (photo courtesy Findlay Kember)

Madou Sidiki Diabaté - Live in India

Madou Sidiki Diabaté (AMAR 004) CD | mp3

Solo kora recordings from the 2011 Amarrass Desert Music Festival
(released August 2012 in India, April 2013 US/Benelux)

Madou captures that traditional sound and infuses his own jazz sensibilities in his first live solo kora album. Recorded at the Amarrass Desert Music Festival held November 26 and 27, 2011 in New Delhi, India, this is the music of his forefathers of the Griot community—West Africa’s historians and storytellers, his roots embedded in every chord.


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Madou Sidiki Diabaté - Live in India at the Amarrass Desert Music Festival features 5 tracks Kaira, Famadenke, Bajuru ba, Sara Kantigui and Kana Kassi.

"Madou Sidiki Diabate.. sounds not of this world at all. His rippling, harp-like arpeggios and dizzyingly complex interlocking melodies seem to descend on warm wings from a yearning heaven of billowing, fragrant heat." - Daniel Spicer in The Wire (Jan 2015/Issue 371)

"This exquisite performance showcases the range of emotion and polyphonic depth possible with the Kora. A wonderful performance!" - CKCU FM 93.1 Ottawa Canada

"Seriously good, nicely improvisatory player" - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

"An exceptional kora player" - HTBrunch

Madou started playing the kora at age three. By the time he was six years old, he was playing his first concert as a representative of the 71st generation of korists in his family. He learned his art under his father, Sidiki Diabaté, a man generally referred to as the “King of the Kora”. His elder brother, Toumani Diabaté is also a famed korist and Grammy Award winner. If Madou Sidiki Diabaté’s lineage is formidable, then so is his talent. In his element, as he was during the Amarrass Desert Music Festival at New Delhi, he evinces astonishment, amazement and gasps of wonder from the audience. In this 30-year-old’s hands, the kora is full of deception: it looks like a simple, even rustic instrument capable of basic sounds. But close your eyes and you hear many musicians in harmony.

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Mitha Bol nominated for Best Folk Album

mithabol-cd-cover-web-180px July 24, 2012, Mumbai, India: Mitha Bol - Volume one of Field Recordings from the Indian Desert, has been nominated for the Best Folk Music Album in the Non-Film Music Category of the 3rd Annual Global Indian Music Academy (GiMA) Awards. The album was selected by a jury panel of over 30 eminent members from India's Music & Film industry including Dr. L. Subramaniam, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Ila Arun, Pankaj Udhas, Salim Merchant, Taufiq Qureshi, Shankar Mahadevan and Ustad Rashid Khan.

Released in September 2011, Mitha Bol was recorded in December 2010 in one take with a single pair of microphones and an analog cassette recorder. Artists featured on the album include sindhi sarangi maestro Lakha Khan, the up-and-coming star vocalist of the Barmer Boys Mangey Khan, and Bagga Khan, Meisa Ram & Company.

Get your copy of Mitha Bol at our online store or at your local independent music store.

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