Ba Cissoko hails from Koundara, Guinea and fronts his own kora-led band. His uncle, M’Bady Kouyaté the legendary kora player, passed down his tremendous knowledge of the West African 21-stringed harp to his nephew. Ba Cissoko recently recorded Nimissa, which translates to “regrets,” on Cristal Records. Joining the band leader are longtime collaborators Sekou Kouyaté on kora and bass player Kourou Kouyaté in addition to guitarist Abdoulaye Kouyaté, drummer “d’Artagnan,” percussionist Laurent Rigaud (aka “Samba”) and The Ava Saty Marching band. This group of musicians recorded together for the first time on Nimissa.
Raised the son of a griot in the Mandingo tradition, Cissoko grew up well aware of the storytelling traditions that have been passed down through his family for generations. Rather than feeling limited by history, Cissoko and his band excel at bridging the gap between vintage and contemporary West African music. Sekou Kouyaté’s wild, electric kora playing has earned him the title of “Jimi Hendrix Africain” due to his excellent technique and the fast, guitar tapping sound he produces. The Ba Cissoko band even named their 2006 record Electric Griot Land in homage to Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. Watch a live performance of “Nimissa” below and grab the record wherever fine music is sold.