Senegalese musician Diabel Cissokho is part of the great line of Cissokho griots. With an exceptional musical pedigree (kora player with Baaba Maal, Kandia Kouyate, Pee Wee Ellis, Nuru Kane, Daby Balde, Omar Pene and Abdou Diop), Diabel is now well established in the UK. His virtuosic talent has been welcomed everywhere from WOMAD and Glastonbury to London’s Barbican, where he performed alongside Femi Kuti, Cheikh Lo and Manu Dibango.
Diabel’s success with bluesman Ramon Goose cemented his reputation as a versatile musician, able to effortlessly cross cultures. Their album Mansana Blues was lauded as “a flavoursome mix of slide guitar, mellow kora and undulating Mandinka rhythms” (fRoots) which “delivers moments of steamy pleasure” (Songlines). Diabel has recently released his own album, Kanabory Siyama, which draws on his rich musical heritage, blending beautiful Mandinkan melodies with an upbeat West African groove.
He extols a virtuosic talent across a range of genres, from traditional African to jazz and Afro-beat, and recently performed for Celebrating Sanctuary with guitarist Ramon Goose. Formerly the leader of NuBlues, Ramon has performed with the likes of Eric Burdon, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Pee Wee Ellis, James Brown’s bandleader.
“The textural relation between blues slide guitar and traditional African instruments generally yields striking results. The young man from Dakar sings in three West African languages with a caramel-rich voice that communicates sentiments to listeners despite a language barrier… Reining his guitar, Goose respects both the meditative and more expressive properties of their hybrid music.” (Downbeat)
Click here to hear Diabel Cissokho & Ramon Goose