Habib Koite and Bamada to Play Flynn

Habib Koite comes from a great line of Malian, Khassonke griots. His grandfather was a virtuoso of the traditional n’goni, his father played guitar and his mother is still a singer. After secondary education he was expected to study engineering but thanks to his uncle, he was pushed towards the National Institute of Arts (NIA) in Bamako where he studied music for four years. During this time he was asked to join the institute’s elite <> band where he was rapidly nominated chef d’ orchestre. In 1988 Habib Koite formed his own band Bamada with a line-up of young Malian musicians, amongst them childhood friend and master percussionist, Baba Sissoko, also from a great griot family. The existing group includes Souleymane Ann on drums and vocals, Abdoul Wahab Berthe on bass and Boubacar Sidibe on guitar, harmonica and vocals. The group honed their skills by touring extensively in Mali, and the great feeling of comaradie amongst them is self evident during their live performances today. In 1991 Habib Koite won first prize at the Perpignan Voxpole Festival, which afforded him the chance to record two tracks, including the hugely successful. Koite and Bamada will be performing Thursday, February 6, at The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.-Press Release