Trio Da Kali and the Epic of Sundiata

Trio Da Kali - Credit: Youri Lenquette

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  • Full Price: £15.00 Under 18: £10.00 Other concessions available

An unmissable performance of Malian music and ancient storytelling

A workshop for all ages will be given by Trio Da Kali on Saturday afternoon – more details. 

Trio Da Kali is a group of outstanding musicians from the Mande culture of southern Mali who come from a long line of distinguished griots (hereditary musicians), and are now increasingly renowned on the world stage. Formed of voice, ngoni and balafon, the Trio aim to bring a contemporary twist to ancient repertoires.

At these special performances they play from their own repertoire, and accompany a telling of the story of Sundiata, the greatest king of 13th- century Mali, given by Chérif Keïta
Trio Da Kali singer Hawa Kasse Mady Diabaté, daughter of legendary Kasse Mady Diabaté, has one of the finest griot-soul voices today. Her soaring vocals are matched by the balafon virtuosity of Lassana Diabaté, formerly of Afrocubism and Toumani Diabaté’s Symmetric Orchestra, and one of Mali’s most astonishing players. The cascading lines, rippling and percussive riffs, and buzzing gourd resonators of the balafon are a familiar element in many Malian ensembles, but here the it is the lead instrument.  The youngest member of the trio is bass ngoni player Mamadou Kouyaté - the son of world-renowned Bassekou Kouyaté - who underpins the music with punchy bass lines.
The second half of the evening is devoted to a telling, to live music, of the epic story of Sundiata, a real ruler of Mali in the 13th century. The story tells how Sundiata Keita, the sickly child of a Mandinka warrior, grew up to defeat a brutal oppressor and unify his people - bringing a long peace to a large Empire. The story is told by Chérif Keïta, Professor of French and Francophone Cultures at Carleton College, Northfields, Minnesota, and an expert in the culture of his native Mali.

Presented in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.


Name: Trio Da Kali and the Epic of Sundiata
Where: Conference Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £15.00
Senior 60+: £12.00
Student: £10.00
Registered Unemployed: £10.00
Under 18: £10.00
Friend of the BL: £10.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546