25.09.2007 jam session amr

Andra Kouyaté has invented, designed and built a new instrument; the bass n’goni, sort of an African contrabass. This invention has permitted him to develop a new way of playing, quite different from the more usual traditional n’goni. He is gifted with exceptional playing skills on both musical and rythmical level. Tapping deep into traditional manding sources he is a complete master on the n’goni, bass n’goni and the tama.

Through his impressive creativity Andra Kouyaté shows us how traditional instruments can be used without any limitations in very different musical styles. His approach to music, his sensitivity and charism and also his power and playing technique make him a real virtuoso multi-instrumentalist.

Andra Kouyaté hails from a musical griot family. He starts learning to play the n’goni from the age of seven with his father Moutapha Kouyaté at Garana (Mali). In 1989 he moves to Bamako, improving his playing with different groups like e.g. Badema National.

In 1997 Andra integrates two groups, one of Fantani Touré, with whom he recorded the album “N’TIN NAARI” and subsequently toured, and the group of Rokia Traoré with whom he participated on three albums "MOUNEÏSSA", "WANITA" and "BOWMBOI" and toured internationally for eight years. During the same periode Andra Kouyaté also plays regularly with Toumani Diabaté and Ali Farka Touré.

In 2005 Andra Kouyaté decides to create “NGONI BA” with his brother Bassekou Kouyaté. Together they record an album “SEGU BLUE” and go on a hugely succesful tour through Europe.

In 2007, still on tour with Bassekou Kouyaté he participates on Habib Koité’s album “AFRIKI” and also on the album “RED EARTH” released by Dee Dee Bridgewater. Christophe Minck makes a succesful appeal on him for the album “KIRIKOU ET KARABA” under the direction of Michel Ocelot. And he also contributes to the Oumou Sangaré album “SEYA”, the Leni Stern album “ALU MAYE” and the Tiken Jah Fakoly album “AFRICAN REVOLUTION”.

Next Andra Kouyaté, Andreas Fulgosi and Baba Konaté decide in 2007 to form a new group called RAAGA TRIO, which is a exciting meeting between traditional West African music and jazz. In 2009 they are joined by Guillaume Lagger.

Andra Kouyaté & Sèkè Chi have released their first album “SARO” in July 2012.