On his forthcoming LP Dounouya, (‘The Whole World,’ release: May, 2013), this king of ngoni – a plucked West African lute and banjo precursor – fuses his native Malian roots with the urbane vitality of his American hometown of Washington, DC. Diabate dazzles on ngoni, banjo, and guitar to tell the story of his musical past, with cameos by kora icon Toumani Diabate, guitarist Djelimady Tounkara. and American bluesmen Corey Harris and Phil Wiggins (“Diamonds and Gold/Mali Blues”). Working closely with a homegrown, Afro-pop-loving DC band, Diabate captures the grit of his journey from Mali to America, the refinement of his musical lineage, and the funk and energy of a good old electric jam.
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