Seckou Keita SKQ
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Seckou Keita SKQ

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"Pick of the week"

Seckou Keita, the Senegalese-born musician, plays the kora, the gourdharp associated with the ancestral musical families of West Africa. Now resident in Britain, Keita inherited the tradition from his maternal Cissokho background, but has looked beyond it to put together a quartet with Egyptian violinist Samy Bishai, Italian bassist Davide Mantovani and Gambian percussionist Surahata Susso. It's a sensitive ensemble which allows each to respond directly to each other's playing and keep a traditional base even when the material is new. The deserty scratch of Juldeh Camara's riti fiddle is a distinctive addition on many tracks. A fine example of how traditional music can evolve outside its original context.
Simon Broughton - Evening Standard - London


"Reviews"

AFRO-MANDINKA SOUL
Seckou Keita Quartet
Arc Music EUVD 2028
CD: (Full Price). Length: 56.46 mins.
Reviewer: Nicholas Breeze Wood
Seckou Keita is a UK based,
Senegalese Kora player playing
traditional based music with his band, the other members of
the quartet, who are an Egyptian violinist, an Italian double
bassist, and a Gambian percussionist. They are joined by
vocalists and a riti (one string Senegalese fiddle) player. The
music is delicate and has, despite the other non Senegalese
musicians, a very traditional feeling, as Seckou is very much
the leader of the quartet.
Seckou has been a member of Baka Beyond, and appeared
on a couple of their albums. We featured Baka Beyond’s
musical collaborative work with the Baka people of Africa in
Sacred Hoop a few years ago.
The album is laid-back and restful, and the kora playing and
other instruments are a delight to let wash over you. I am
always a bit wary of world music fusion albums, there seemed
to have been a lot of dreadful ‘sitar and saxophone’ and
‘didgeridoo and dulcimer’ albums released when the world
discovered ‘world music’ a few years ago. Happily we seemed
to have mostly moved beyond those, and the fact that a double
bass and a violin are on this album seems docent matter a fig
as the music sounds authentic from start to finish - this album
is real, not the result of some bright spark saying 'hey, I’ve had
a great idea for a CD...’ A delicious mesmeric album, and I bet
they are wonderful to experience live. - IPOS SH


Discography

Afro Mandinka Soul ... tama Silo
ARC Music
2006

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Bio

Seckou Keita is a brilliant live performer with stacks of charisma
Lucy Duran - Radio BBC3

"Without a doubt, the Seckou Keita Quartet were a performance highlight at the Festival Mainstage in Halifax.. one could never be prepared for the sheer joy and affectionate musicianship that is their performance, so much so that a very much unsuspecting crowd danced like a collective spirit possessed...it was beautiful."
Canada Trust Atlantic Jazz Festival, Halifax NS Canada 2006

The Seckou Keita Quartet + is one of fastest growing independent bands that has enthralled audiences in many places around the world.

Drawing together musicians from Senegal, Italy, Egypt and The Gambia, the band has become a real international treasure. Led by the experimental tunings and virtuoso kora of Seckou Keita himself - the music is supported by the double bass/electric bass of Davide Mantovani, the eclectic percussions of Surahata Susso and the distinguished sound of the violin by Samy Bishai. The enchanting voice of the gracious Binta Susso is the newest addition to the band�s live appearances; bringing new colours to their already amazing sound.

The result is a captivating contemporary sound with achingly beautiful melodies, virtuoso improvisation and luminous free spirit that transcends audiences.

Each performance is a sensory experience, with colourful melodies and rhythms, and reasoning energy that flows between the musicians; making each performance special and memorable to say the least. This spirit and the amazing sound and music will be captured in an energetic and lively new album due for release in May 2008.

The band started in 2004 and have since performed in more than 100 venues and festivals including the London Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz International festival, Womad UK, Selam in Stockholm and Etnoambient in Zagreb.

"They may all be from different places and traditions", Keita points out, "but our instruments all speak the same language", and whether playing an upbeat dance tune, or a soulful song, people respond passionately to this unique formation.

MORE INFO ON WWW.SECKOUKEITA.COM