Aly Keita

Aly Keita, a West African musician, is known for his mastery in the balafon. This marimba-like instrument is native to West Africa. Traditionally, the balafon was the instrument of the Griot (or the West African oral historians and songsmiths). Keita isn’t the griot who made this tradition popular. It was not his ability to bring this millennium-old instrument in a new musical context. Although Keita is rooted in tradition and his Afro-pop, Funk-fueled rhythm section, and taste for complex jazz arrangements set him apart from other balafonists. Aly is a member of a musical family that also produced Salif Keita (one of West Africa’s most beloved songwriters and musical talents). Aly was raised in this hot-house setting and moved to Germany as an adult. His musical brilliance has earned him opportunities to collaborate jazz and world music legends like Joe Zawinul and Trilok Gurtu. In 2008, Keita was his first bandleader. The album, Akwaba Inisene was a hit across Europe. It reached the Top 20 on World Music Charts Europe. Keita toured extensively in Europe and Africa during the six months that followed the release of the record. Keita and his band, the Balankan, supported the new venture of the master musician on stages from Maputo, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. Allmusic

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