Djeli Moussa Diawara

© crédit photo : Low Design

Djeli Moussa Diawara (also known as Jali Musa Jawara) was born and raised by a griot family. His father is a balafonist, his mother a chorist and his maternal half­brother is the famous  Mory Kanté. Therefore, becoming a “jali” or “djeli” (a Mandingo term for “griot”) was quite obvious. He learned the balafon, the Kora and the guitar.

At the end of the 70s, Djeli Moussa joined Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, where he performed with his half brother who had just left the legendary Rail Band. He then began his solo career,working with Djenne Doumbia, an outgoing singer who later joined  Salif Keita band. In 1983, he released his first LP Yasimika which is still considered today as a reference in African world music. After some difficulties, he settled in Paris where his work was recognized by the audience and media. 

The Flamenkora album, released in the late 90s, offers a rich and diverse mix  of Flamenco and traditional music, a fusion between Latin rhythms and the  former Mandingo Empire songs. 

In 2000, Djeli Moussa recorded ­ Ocean Blues , a musical trip from Africa to Hawaii with BobBrozman, a real success. 

He created the Kora Jazz Trio band, with Abdoulaye Diabaté on piano and MoussaCissoko on percussion. He is the main composer, essentially composes the tracks he sings, in addition to singing, he plays Kora and sometimes guitar. The band has released 3 albums (Part I, II & III).

Singer and musician, Djeli Moussa has developed a close connection with his 32strings  Kora, especially modified acording to his requests to be able to play the minorand major ranges, the classic instrument gets only 21 strings. Remaining very close totraditional rhythms, Djeli Moussa has also extracted from his Mandingo instrumentunexpected styles: salsa, flamenco, blues and jazz. 

Since his first solo LP  in 1983, he performed at many stages and worked also in studiowith many well­known artists like Johnny Copeland, Manu Dibango, Ali Farka Touré, Carlos Santana, Janice deRosa,  … and others.

His new album “Par Amour”, will be out in early 2021. 


© crédit photo : Low Design

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