Taj Mahal describes him as a genius, a living proof that the blues comes from the region of Segu. Bassekou Kouyate is one of Mali’s best-known ngoni players. He has collaborated with many important traditional musicians of his country as well as international such as Carlos Santana, U2 among many many others.
Bassekou was born in a village called Garana about 60 kms from Segu, in the remote countryside on the banks of the Niger river. He was raised in a traditional musical environment, his mother a praise singer and his father and brothers exceptional ngoni players. He moved to Bamako when he was 19 years old where he met the young Toumani Diabate.
By the late 1980s Bassekou was part of Toumanis trio and they recorded their first albums together, Songhai and Djelika. Bassekou married the singer Ami Sacko (so-called the Tina Turner of Mali) and they are much solicited for the traditional Sunday wedding parties that happen in the streets of Bamako. After collaborating a lot with others both nationally and internationally Bassekou now finally has put together his own band: Ngoni Ba; the big ngoni: Mali’s first ngoni quartet.