Sekouba Bambino
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Sekouba Bambino

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Discography

Sily National 2006 (2006)
15ieme Anniversaire (2005)
Ambiance Ballon (2004)
Sinikan (2002)
Sily National (1998)
Kassa (1997)
Boniya (1997)
Destin (1992)
Sama (1990)

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Former member of the notorious National Jazz Ensemble Bembeya and still singer for the famous group Africando, Sekouba Bambino has evolved in a solo career for the last 15 years.

His powerful tenor voice, authoritatively controlled and supported by modern arrangements leaves a beautiful place for the aerial games of manding guitars, which imposes originality.

The great Sekouba Bambino has demonstrated why he is one of the greatest African singers, as he exploits his marvellous tenor voice. Nothing is neglected, small whispers to cries vibrate the room. The groove begins instantly. Not less than 10 musicians charge on the stage,. From the lot, an African xylophone emerged with great energy. Combining the passion of a drummer to the fine playing of a jazz pianist, the takeoffs of the xylophonist, coloured every piece played. Wanting to dance or stomp your feet was very contagious during the percussionists solos. The female chorus singers answered the calls by frenetically dancing, which got the crowd on their feet. Rarely have we seen aesthetic convulsions.

(Definition of a griot: African belonging to a special caste, being at the same time a poet, a musician and a shaman)

Being a member of the famous legendary group National Jazz Ensemble Bembeya, and subsequently Africando, this griot singer has an out of the ordinary artistic background. Born in the village of Boure Kintigna in Guinea, close to the Malian border, his maternal and paternal families both belong to a grand ancestral family of griots, masters of the word, the chants and the music.

His mother, Mariama Samoura, was one of the most famous professional opera singers and griottes of her generation. She had two enormous successed : Tayer-Ke and especially Apollo. Both were remade by Sekouba Bambino. His father, Ej Hadj Baba Diabate, did not want his son to become a singer. When he was a youth, Sekouba sang after school, with local bands, who played in the streets of Siguiri, where he lived. It was the era of President Sekou Toure and the groups were sponsored; the Golden Age of Guinean music.

It was the President of the Republic himself who noticed Sekouba's voice. While interpreting Regard du Passe from the National Jazz Ensemble Bembeya, dedicated to the history of Guinea, Sekouba captured the ear of the music lover President. Sekou Toure summons the young boy and orders his father to let him sing while attending school. Sekouba is only 14 when Aboubacar Demba Camara, a charismatic singer / soloist of the National Jazz Ensemble Bembeya, dies in a car accident in Senegal. Sekou Toure suggests that he be replaced. A problem arises, the virtuoso guitarist, today mostly known as Diamond Fingers, is a homonym. Sekouba Diabate will be known from now on as Bambino! President Sekou Toure advised the National Jazz Ensemble Bembeya to hire him.

A decisive factor in the career of Sekouba was the meeting in 1989 with the producer Ibrahim Sylla of Syllart Productions. He brought him on the greatest adventure with Africando, which permitted the singer to have his voice heard on the album Gomba Salsa, which imposes a Latin version of the famous success of Apollo, popularised by his mother. Bambino also sings on the albums of Betece, Sono and the unforgettable Doni Doni of the National Jazz Ensemble Bembeya.

He now plays with his own full group, the Boure Band which comprises of 10 people on stage (big band version) or of 7 people (acoustic version), depending on the demand.

With his native and brilliant songs, all loyal to the grand griot tradition, with his splendid lyric tenor voice, so close to Kouyate Sory Kandiate the Guinean genius which assures this transition of the traditional to the modern, Bambino personifies what is the purest in the manding music. His music reflects his attractive personality, so humble and intelligent, despite all my efforts as an objective journalist, I could not find one person who had nothing bad to say.

Through his human efforts, Sekouba Bambino is an ambassador for the Guinean Red Cross. In 1992, he is awarded the title of Star of Guinea, voted by the public and given by the Agency Chetiba. In 2000 he is presented the Kounde Trophy in Burkina Faso, which rewards the best African artists. In 2001, listeners of the BBC radio voted him best African artist in London, with the remittance of the trophy from the BBC Awards. In 2002, the album Betece of Africando receives a gold album in Paris. The same year, the album Sinikan receives the Golden Djembe for best Guinean album. In 2003, he is crowned at the Golden Tamanis of Bamako, in Mali. He also obtains the Golden Djembe for the best West African album, on his opus Ambiance Ballon / Warasso. Finally, in January 2005, he receives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, an award for Ambassador of A Grand Peace Singer.

The new group of Sekouba Bambino, the Boure Band, which mixes manding instruments (balafon, djembe, n