JUNE 27-29, 2024

Moulay Hassan Stage





Djeli master and prodigy Guimba Kouyaté descends from a prestigious lineage of Malian djelis. Born in France, he grew up between Paris and Bamako, forging his artistic identity at the crossroads of cultures. He has established his reputation as an eclectic artist: virtuoso guitarist, ngoni player, composer, producer, and musical director.

Nurtured by a rich musical tradition, with his ngoni master grandfather Djéli Baba Sissoko and parents Mamaye Kouyaté (great storyteller and guitar and ngoni virtuoso) and Mah Damba (renowned diva of Mali), he does not hesitate to experiment with a diverse range of genres such as pop, electro, rock, jazz, or folk. In this way, he has honed his gift of fusing tradition and modernity.

He began to accompany his mother to traditional ceremonies (sumus) and on tour from the age of 12, thus opening the path to collaborations with icons and major international artists such as Cheick Tidiane Seck, Toumani Diabaté, Oumou Sangaré, Salif Keita, St Germain, Jacob Collier, Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, Sampha, and many others.

Guimba Kouyaté is considered a “passeur” artist, or maestro, making the connection between the West African music scenes and its diaspora, and playing an essential role in intergenerational transmission and dialogue. He incarnates the living link between the timeless authenticity of djeli music and avant-garde artistic creation, with an exceptional career of performance and collaborations that bear witness to the remarkable influence he exerts upon the global music scene, making him a true ambassador of Malian culture around the world

“He is probably the best guitarist I have heard in recent years.” — Brian Eno