Toumani Diabate
Toumani Diabate Toumani Diabaté is the uncontested master of the kora (West African harp-lute). 2006 saw Toumani and his band the Symmetric Orchestra burst onto the international scene with their critically acclaimed debut album and first ever European tours. Spring 2007 sees them make their debut tour of the United States, giving new audiences the first opportunity to catch this phenomenal group live.

Hot on the heels of the GRAMMY winning ‘In the Heart of the Moon’ with Ali Farka Touré was ‘Boulevard de l'Indépendance’, Toumani Diabaté’s most extraordinary album to date. A super-charged, traditional-meets-modern dance-band album, it unites the two sides of this remarkable musical personality – the virtuosic traditionalist and the restless innovator– in one seething pot of rhythm.

Over the past 10 years, the Symmetric Orchestra have been channeling their creative energies into their pulsating live shows held every Friday night at Bamako’s Hogon club. The aim of the Symmetric Orchestra is to musically recreate the Mandé Empire that stretched across West Africa, to revive a cultural space that included Guinea, Senegal, Burkino Faso, the Ivory Coast, and had Mali at its heart. Toumani’s concept is to mix the authentic, traditional with a modern outlook, with the name Symmetric showing that the balance between the elements is even, with each instrument contributing equally to the flow. The group has an ever evolving line-up, and is cross-generational, mixing up traditional songs with new arrangements, and vice versa, so ‘everything ends up with a new spin’.

The Symmetric Orchestra are a band at the height of their powers, and in their leader Toumani Diabaté they have one of the world’s great musicians keen to share his musical vision with the world. These shows are bound to be an electrifyingly compulsive experience, and are not to be missed.