Trio Da Kali unites three outstanding musicians from the Mande culture of southern Mali who come from a long line of distinguished griots (hereditary musicians). Formed of balafon (xylophone), bass ngoni (lute) and female singer the Trio aim to bring a contemporary twist to ancient and neglected repertoires which are now an endangered species in contemporary Malian music.

Balafon player Lassana Diabaté is a musician of great subtlety and invention who has honed a virtuosic two-balafon technique to perfection. Bass ngoni player Mamadou Kouyaté is the eldest son of the instrument’s greatest exponent Bassekou Kouyaté and singer Hawa ‘Kassé Mady’ Diabate is the daughter of Mali’s greatest traditional singer, Kassé Mady Diabate, with power, range and phrasing prompting comparisons with the late queen of American gospel Mahalia Jackson.

Trio Da Kali have recently completed a stunning collaboration with the renowned and revolutionary Kronos Quartet resulting in the record 'Ladilikan' which was released on 15 September to great acclaim.

“…a triumph…this encounter with three outstanding Malian musicians dazzles…Nick Gold’s production has a winning vibrancy”
The Observer (Guardian)

“Ladilikan.. Is unlike anything you may have heard before…This delightful album makes a repertoire of music which is centuries old sound vital and new.” 
The Economist 
(1843 Magazine) 

Sample tracks from the record as well as an interview with David Harrington, Founder of Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali's Musical Director and balafon player Lassana Diabaté are below.

OCM bring Trio Da Kali's own repertoire to Oxford's ethereal St Barnabas Church on 25 October, and an opportunity to experience some of their spell-binding musical history.


Senegalese master musician Jali Fily Cissokho plays the 21 string West African kora/harp. He comes from the famous griot family of musicians,whos skills and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation. Yet, as a citizen of 21st Century, he is also attuned to the rhythms of the present and future, creating a unique natural musical blend that spans centuries and continents. His performances range from solo traditional Mande music and song to rocking electro- kora with his Coute Diomboulou Band.


“I love Fily’s voice. He understands my music. We are both griot.”

AR RAHMAN (recording for Bollywood film RAVAAN)



Beautiful renditions of traditional and popular Mande classics, with a deep respect for cultural traditions. A delicate player and composer.