Djeli Moussa Diawara: kora, chora, guiot, mandinka music, African music, guinea music, Taj Mahal
Concerts and Tour Dates Concerts,
Tour Dates
Press Kit Press Kit
Biography Biography
Reviews and Interviews Reviews, Interviews
DVDs & Videos DVDs
Bob Brozman Digital Downloads Digital
Books Books
Instruments Instruments
Reso-Acoustic Sound System Sound System
Tips for Guitarists Tips for Guitarists
Seminars Seminars
Contact Contact
Contact Mailing List

Bob Brozman - Official Website


Djeli Moussa Diawara

Guinean singer and composer Djeli Mousa Diawara is foremost among world players of the Kora, the African harp-lute of the Manding peoples of the Senegambia. Born in Guinea in 1961 into a family whose musical roots span generations, his father was a famous player of the balafon (Africa's wooden cousin to the xylophone), and his mother sang. He joined his family as a member of the djeli (or jali) caste - the honored griots who carry a tradition of reciting town news through improvised lyrics and melody on the kora. Like his half-brother, Mory Kante, and cousin, Kante Manfila, he was drilled by his elders in music, instrumental technique and a millennium's worth of oral history and genealogies.

The kora is a demanding instrument, consisting of two parallel rows of strings attached to a notched bridge on a resonating gourd, and Djeli's confident command of it is the result of a lifetime of study and practice. He learned the fine points of playing the kora from a brilliant performer named Batourou Sekou and gradually forged an individual style.

In the late 70s, Djeli visited Abidjan, Ivory Coast and performed for a time with the legendary Rail Band in Bamako, Mali. He eventually went solo, working with Djenne Doumbia, a remarkable singer who later graced Salif Keita's band. A British label put out his first LP, "Yasimika," in 1983 and it is revered today as one of the finest African albums of all time. Following a series of false starts, he began to record for the Paris-based Melodie label, and his works were rapturously received by the press and public.

His mid-nineties release FLAMENKORA is a richly diverse set that underscores the shared Moorish roots of Flamenco and the djeli tradition, combining sultry, Latin-tinged dance grooves with song of the ancient Manding Empire. With a simple palette of kora and voice, Djeli Moussa Diawara has fashioned his heritage into sounds and emotions that speak eloquently to a contemporary audience.

OCEAN BLUES is the exciting collaboration between Djeli and Bob Brozman. Recorded in the space of only four days near Bob's home in California, the album reflects the fluid communication that arose between the two friends during the period leading up to the recording, beginning in 1999 when they met on La Reunion Island, and continuing through the ensuing summer, when Bob assembled Djeli and a host of world musicians for the International Troupe Tour of Canada.

Since the release of OCEAN BLUES, Bob and Djeli have performed together in South Africa, Canada, France, Belgium, and the UK.

Djeli Moussa Diawara
Djeli Moussa Diawara
shown with his kora
Photo by Haley S. Robertson

Link to info about Ocean Blues
Bob and Djeli Moussa Diawara


*More about OCEAN BLUES, Djeli Moussa Diawara and Bob Brozman's CD