- Burkina Faso/Mali/France
A native of Burkina Faso, Abdoulaye Traore´ began travelling around West Africa in the early 1990s, notching up collaborations with the great names of the region, includingVictor De´me´ and Les Go de Kote´ba. In 2001, these encounters brought him to Europe, the crowning glory to the recognition of his talent. He is a superlative performer on the acoustic and electric guitar and has mastered a wide range of African musical genres, both as a rhythm player and a soloist. His style manages to be both free and precise, incisive and easy-going, his virtuosity and his keen sense of hearing make him an exceptional improviser.
In 2002, whilst in France, he formed Debademba (big family) in order to work on his own compositions. In Paris, he also collaborated with such musical greats as Fatoumata Diawaraand Hindi Zahra.
But it was 2009 that the determining encounter forDebademba’s future took place, with a young Malian singer named Mohamed Diaby.
Mohamed Diaby grew up on the Ivory Coast with his mother, the famous griotte Koumba Kouyate´. Brought up in the great tradition of the Malian griots, the young singer was discovered in 2007 by the Malian television programme, Case Sanga, a showcase for launching new talent which takes place under the sharp eyes and ears of Oumou Sangare´.
Diaby also became a popular griot in Abidjan and in Paris during the major African festivals. This allowed him to develop his extraordinary vocal capacity, his formidable improvisational skills and his highly-tuned sense of musical repartee. To all of which is added his distinctive sound, enriched by a voice that is both gentle and raw. His talent is only equaled by his charisma and his ability to captivate an audience with a theatricality that brings to mind the great oral tradition of the African storyteller.
The duo also collaborated on Le Bal de l’Afrique enchante´e(The Enchanted Africa Ball) with the powerful African collectiveLes Mercenaires de l’Ambiance (The Mercenaries of Atmosphere), a show created on the initiative of well-known France Inter radio presenter Soro Solo.