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.