Trio da Kali
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Trio da Kali

Bamako, Bamako, Mali | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Bamako, Bamako, Mali
Established on Jan, 2013
Band World Traditional


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Afropop Worldwide"

‘Watching Lassana fly through his instrumental composition “Samuel,” ... you can instantly spot him as a master brilliantly engaged and spontaneous, technically impeccable, simply a thrill to behold. Lassana is one of those who feels that riffing and showing off has become overemphasized in griot music. He wants to get back to the instrument’s expressiveness. ...
Instrumentally, Lassana’s balafon is backed only by the bass ngoni of Mamadou Kouyaté, eldest son of Bassekou Kouyaté, and a member of Bassekou’s sensational band Ngoni Ba. Mamadou is essentially taking the roll of the bolon, the Mande bass harp. His lines are strong and clear, providing a backbone that gives Lassana room to create in a variety of ways.
... All this is ultimately the setting for Trio Da Kali’s secret weapon, vocalist Hawa Kasse Mady Diabaté—daughter of legendary singer Kasse Mady Diabaté. Hawa’s warm horn-like vocal tone is rich and full, powerful without a trace of shrillness or blare.’ - Banning Eyre

"The Brandeis Hoot"

‘ “Da kali” means “to swear an oath,” and represents the griots’ pledge to their art, recalling a time when the griots were advisors to Mali’s pre-colonial rulers. Today, the griot is a historian, a storyteller and a performer, making them vastly important to the Mande culture. Trio Da Kali brings a fresh perspective to this serious societal role. This concert was imbued with life and good intentions. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that everyone in the audience was deeply touched by the performance.
... Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté, the vocalist, was excellent at connecting with the audience without words... Hawa has a powerful, operatic voice. Together, the trio came together to perform music that was harmonious, playful and accessible. The audience could not help but smile and clap along.... Full of history, advice and emotion, it was a beautiful testament to how important traditions like the griots are.’ - Christa Caggiano


As a warm-up we got a set from a new Malian trio who were making their first-ever public performance. And what Trio Da Kali purveyed was a lovely blend of griot music plus something close to jazz, led by singer Hawa Kasse Mady Diabate whose sound has been aptly compared with that of the American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. - Michael Church

"The San Francisco Chronicle"

It wasn’t quite a party, but on the other hand, it was more than your run-of-the-mill concert. The group focused its attention and that of its audience on a host of beguiling, arresting and beautiful sounds, delivered with zest and imagination...
...and in the evening's most dazzling programming coup, Trio Da Kali, a group of Malian musicians who are on the cusp of a long collaboration with Kronos.
The collaboration with the remarkable Trio Da Kali offered one of the group's most arresting cross-cultural projects in years... their rendition of "Tita," a reflective yet urgent love song from Western Mali, was a knockout. - Joshua Kosman


The most intriguing performance of the night, though, was presented as a preview of Kronos Quartet’s next project: a collaboration with the Malian group Trio da Kali. The combined forces of Kronos and the trio... delivered an impassioned performance of a love song from Kita, Western Mali that was part Afropop, part quartet, part improvisational jazz. It was a short interlude, but it gave a glimpse of some excitement to come. - Grant Damron

"The Telegraph"

Prom 54, the World Routes prom, brought music from two diverse musical traditions, Mali and Azerbaijan, to the Royal Albert Hall. It opened with the first ever live performance by Da Kali Trio, whose very presence was a celebration of a music that is once again free to be heard – after the events of 2012, during which Mali was torn apart by a military coup.
In the power vacuum that followed, the north of the country was seized by Islamist extremists determined to impose Sharia law. All music was banned. A state of emergency led to similar restrictions in the south, until
French forces and Malian troops liberated and reunited the country.
The trio’s opening song Namanike, which is a traditional work song forfield labourers, raised a smile from the audience as singer Hawa Kasse Mady Diabaté picked up a heavy-looking hoe and performed a digging dance routine.
The highlight of the performance, though, was the song Ladilikan, in which Diabaté’s pure voice reached out over the violent energy of the (xylophone-like) balafon playing of Lassana Diabaté. It’s a protest song born of a time of fear, some of its lyrics translate as "You can't go to pray at the mosque on a Friday night, and then go out on a Saturday morning, chop off people's legs and murder children". A spirit of freedom was restored in the rhythmic jam Lila Bambo that ended the set. - Chris Harvey

"The Arts Desk"

This concert saw the debut of a highly appealing “chamber” Malian group Trio Da Kali, who play classy Mandé griot music – the trio consist of bass
ngoni (lute), balafon (wooden-keyed xylophone) and the sweet, clear voice of Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté (daughter of a legendary Malian singer [4]).
The pared-down line-up was a tremendous showcase for the sinuous and natural musicianship of the group. - Peter Culshaw

"London Evening Standard"

The concert opened with the Trio Da Kali from Mali in West
Africa. Mali is one of the most musical countries on the planet,
bursting with astonishing artists — and the members of this
group come from great musical lineages. The trio includes
brilliant balafon (traditional xylophone) player Lassana Diabaté,
bass ngoni (desert lute) player Mamadou Kouyaté and singer
Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté, the daughter of one of Mali’s best
At first it seemed like they needed a more intimate venue but
Hawa’s voice, with a touch of sandy grit, drew everyone in —
with a song inspired by legendary American gospel singer
Mahalia Jackson. -


'Trio Da Kali' are a new group who have still not recorded an album, though discussion with various labels is underway. (The mp3s were done purely as demos for the Kronos Quartet collaboration)  

As individuals, however, they have contributed to a number of albums including:


Lassana Diabate:

Toumani Diabate & Symmetric: Boulevard de l'independance (World Circuit)

Salif Keita: Mbemba (Universal)

Toumani Diabate & Eliades Ochoa: Afrocubism (World Circuit)


Mamadou Kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoniba: Jama ko (OutHere Records)


Hawa Kasse Mady Diabate: 

Kasse Mady Diabate: Kassi Kasse (Discos Corason; EMI Hemisphere)

Alex Wilson & Madou Sidiki Diabate: Mali Latino (Alex Wilson)



Trio Da Kali from Mali are a unique, acoustic and dazzlingly understated ensemble created in 2013. Hawa, powerful female vocalist, whose voice is compared to Mahalia jackson, is the daughter of legendary singer Kasse Mady; Lassana, virtuoso balafonist, is ex-Afrocubism; and Mamadou, brilliant bass ngoni, is Bassekou Kouyates eldest son.  They aim to rescue old Mande styles and repertoires with a contemporary approach. In Da Kalis first months of performing they played the BBC Proms Festival, the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, the London Jazz Festival and various theatres in the USA, where they recently debuted a sublime new collaboration with the Kronos Quartet. 

Hawa Kass Mady, vocal

Lassana Diabat, 22-key balafon

Mamadou Kouyat, bass ngoni