A few weeks ago, World Circuit Records announced the first joint musical offering from Malian kora legend Toumani Diabaté and his son, Sidiki Diabaté. Simply titled Toumani and Sidiki, the album is out May 5 and the lead-up to its release has seen a steady stream of teasers and audio sneak-peaks, most notably in the form of a live performance video released on The Guardian’s website on Monday.
The Guardian video shows the Malian musicians in live performance together and, in typical form for The Guardian, elucidates exactly why this is so special. Toumani Diabaté has long been regarded as one of the best kora players in the world, and his career has had its share of notable collaborations, including albums with the late Ali Farke Toure, and the recent avant-pop fusion of A Curva Da Cintura with Brazil’s Arnaldo Antunes. While lesser known on the global stage, Sidiki has achieved extensive Malian renown in his own right, becoming one of the most popular hip hop producers in Bamako. (We explored his music in our recent program Sahel Sounds: New Music From Mali.)
Despite occasional collaborations,the two have never previously recorded an album together. There is an undeniable power in their partnership- Toumani and Sidiki are griots, whose traditions of storytelling, music and poetry are handed down from generation to generation. The recording of a master working with a musician who is both his apprentice and son embodies this legacy and the inter-generational transmission of the deep heritage that is so central to Malian culture. Check out World Circuit’s teaser video for the upcoming album below.