Old African Music

Kélétigui Diabaté – Koulandian

He has been called the “bibliothèque de la musique Africaine” (library of African music) by younger African musicians, multi-instrumentalist Kélétigui Diabaté is the unsung hero of West African music. Kélétigui was first balafon player to use two balaphones tuned a ‘half step apart’ to facilitate playing jazz! In his home in Bamako, hangs picture of his hero, the legendary vibraphonist, Lionel Hampton. Additionally Kélétigui plays violin, sax and guitar. He was recruited to establish the First National Orchestra in Guinea, playing electric guitar in his own distinctive left-handed style. Students from his band became founding members of the Super Rail Band, while Diabaté joined the highly influential Ambassadors, with whom he recorded and toured. He is the kingpin of Bamako recording scene, he has appeared on several of Toumani’s CD, most notably in “Djelika”. In 1998, Kélétigui joined forces with Habib Koité. With Habib, he played local bars in his home town, Bamako and toured the world where he finally gained worldwide recognition for his talents.

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