Seckou Keita - 22 Strings / Cordes
The title of the album says it all. Centuries ago, when the djinns, African bush spirits, gave the first ever kora to the griot Jali Mady 'Wuleng' (Jali Mady 'The Red') it had 22 strings. When Jali Mady died his fellow griots took one string away in his memory. But in it's southern Senegal and Guinea Bissau birthplace the 22-stringed kora survives, the extra string giving the instrument special advantages in terms of tonal reach and groove. For Seckou Keita, that one extra string represents home: the place where his heart resides. Seckou Keita has arguably become his generation's most influential and inspiring kora player, an exceptional and charismatic musician. A childhood prodigy, Seckou is uniquely descended from a line of Southern Senegalese griots and kings. His last two albums, Miro and The Silimbo Passage, hit No. 1 in the European world music charts, and Clychau Dibon, the fruit of his collaboration with Catrin Finch, won fRoots Critics Poll Album of The Year 2013, Songlines Magazine Best Cross Cultural Collaboration 2014, and two BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominations.