Bassidi Koné

Bassidi Koné is a percussionist, balafon player and oral historian who hails from a family of Griots in Segou, Mali. He learned the balafon, a gourd-resonated vibraphone, from his father and grandfather at a young age, which instilled in him his forefathers’ traditional village songs and rhythms passed down through many generations. Driven by the desire to defend his rich Malian heritage and its origins, Bassidi founded and leads Bwazan Mali, a longstanding, multi-instrumental percussion and dance troupe who work to uphold the tradition of Bwa heritage. Together they have won many awards in recognition of their music, and represented Mali in festivals and competitions throughout West Africa. To date, Bassidi has enjoyed sharing his culture and traditions with international audiences in Australia, the US, and Japan as a performer and teacher. As a solo artist he collaborates with musicians from varied musical backgrounds, delving into afro-jazz, latin, reggae, classical and contemporary genres. Through his own arrangements and instrumentation, Bassidi revisits and innovates the sound of his elders and ancestors with the greatest respect. As an ambassador of his Bwa tradition, he upholds his musical heritage by promoting and preserving the identity, spirituality and cultural richness of his Bwa ethnicity.