Yacouba Sissoko is a Master Kora player from the Djely griot tradition. He was born in Kita, Mali. His grandfather, Samakoun Tounkara, began teaching Yacouba when he was 12 years old. Samakoun's wife Bintouba Diabate was a famous singer in her own right. They raised Yacouba and educated him in his griot heritage and in many lessons about life. Oumou Tounkara, his mother, was a star in the Ensemble National du Mali. Yacouba attended the Institut National des Arts du Mali in Bamako. After his graduation, he played with artists like Taye and Oumou Sacko, Haja Soumano, Djallou Demba, Ami Koita, Fantani Koure, Kandia Kouyate and l'Ensemble Instrumental du Mali.
In 1993, Souleymane Koli,the leader of the Ensemble Koteba of Abidjan recruited him. Yacouba spend the next 5 years performing all over the world with this 45-piece band. In his career, he has traveled to almost every nation on the African continent, as well as most of Europe, Canada, the US and Australia. He is in demand as one of the best kora players in the world, playing with jazz, Latin and R & B bands as well as traditional African ceremonies. As leader of his own band, Siya, and member of the group Super Mande, Yacouba continues to record with many famous musicians, including the groups Source, Tamalalou and Fula Flute.

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Yacouba Sissoko
kora

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