JUNE: Month of the KORA


This is a “universal declaration” of JUNE as the Month of the KORA… in Toronto…. at Batuki Music Society.

We started on JUNE 3rd…

World Concert Series 2011: Batuki Music Society and the Gladstone Hotel present
Mansa Sissoko accompanied by Kassoum Diamoutene and Katenen ‘Cheka’ Dioubate’

From Baleya in Mali, Mansa imparts his birthright as a griot, a storytelling and musical tradition passed down through family lines, with his virtuosity on the kora, and his own compositions as well as pieces inspired by the traditional Mandinka repertory. {read more…}

Mansa Sissoko, Kassoum Diamoutene and Katenen ‘Cheka’ Dioubate’

Sissoko… Sissokho… from Mansa to Sadio…

previously in town as a member of Okavango: An African Orchestra, in performances at Glenn Gould Studio on February 25, and at the Gladstone Hotel on April 15

Sadio Sissokho: “Khaira”

Sadio Sissokho returned to Toronto on JUNE 25th at Harbourfront Centre for Franco-Fête with…

Ouanani, a multi-cultural, electro-organic and festive onslaught of music from Montreal that brings together five musicians from Lac-Saint-Jean, Senegal, Mozambique, New Brunswick and Ghana-Togo-Longueuil, exploding into a thousand rhythms and eight languages.

Franco-Fête de Toronto: Centre Harbourfront, 25 juin 2011

From Toronto to Montreal and back again… Sadio, the drummer, does “the 401” five days later with…

Kabakuwo, appearing on JUNE 30th at the Lula Lounge: featuring not just one but TWO KORAS!!

Kabakuwo, which means ‘fantastic’, is a group with a keen interest in Mandinka culture:
Dieli Mori Tounkara (Mali) and Estelle Lavoie (Québec), both on kora and guitar, Sadio Sissokho (Senegal) on percussion, Cédric Dind-Lavoie (Québec) on double bass and electric bass, and Jean Sebastian Nicol (Québec) on drums.

In 2010, Kabakuwo took first place among 36 groups, in Les Syli d’Or de la Musique du Monde, the annual competition organized by Productions Nuits d’Afrique in Montréal.

Later the same year, its first album “Malongtin” was released – available on iTunes, and at zik.ca and espace-emergence.

Bara: Malongtin, 2010

Together, the five musicians take on each traditional piece with integrity and respect for its origin but also with the inventiveness and inspiration that is allowed by this free instrumentation. The double bass and the koras switch between accompanist and solo roles, supported by percussion. In other pieces, they let the griot tell his stories and allow his voice to be heard, praising Mandinka kings.

Kabakuwo is like a trip back in time, deep in the heart of West Africa, but with a sound that is unique and modern.


Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West, Toronto | for dinner reservations 416 588 0307
Doors at 8 pm. Show at 9 pm. | $15 advance / $20 door

Tickets on sale now at these locations:

African Drums & Art Crafts, 618 Dundas St. West
New Bilan Restaurant, 183 Dundas St. East
Earthsong Village, 2436 Kingston Rd.
Play De Record, 357 Yonge St.
Rotate This, 801 Queen St. West
Soundscapes, 572 College St.

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.