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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.

Sakar Khan


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing away of the legend. Padma Shri Sakar Khanji passed way at home in Hamira, Rajasthan on August 10, 2013. His family, including his sons Ghewar, Firoze and Darra were with him at the time of his death (approximately 1:30 am at night). His funeral procession takes place today August 10, 2013 in Hamira and will be attended by Manganiyars and musicians from all over the region.

  • Padma Shri awarded in 2012 - India’s highest civilian award for his contribution to Indian music
  • Has performed with violin legend Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison (of The Beatles). Numerous international performances, including those at major festivals in the US, France, Japan and USSR.
  • Tulsi Samman awarded in 1990 by the Madhya Pradesh government
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991
  • "At Home: Sakar Khan" released in September 2012

Sakar Khan (1938-2013), from the village of Hamira in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district, was unarguably the greatest kamancha player to have graced this earth. A magician with the instrument, a musician's musician, yet an unsung treasure. Not just for the Thar desert where he comes from, but for the vast swath of land extending west to parts of Europe. Sakar Khan played a very special instrument, to a specially high level. The roots of the ‘kamancha’ (also spelt kamaicha, kamaycha, kemancheh) go back to the 8th century. A bowed instrument with a goat skin sound box and three main gut strings with 14 sympathetic metal strings, it harks back to the lost bowed Raba'ab of Arabia, and perhaps further, in terms of both geography and time.

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