Guitarist Salif Koné demonstrates three musical styles from Mali

Salif Koné, guitarist for Rokia Koné and Les Amazones d'Afrique, demonstrates three musical styles from Mali in this video we filmed during the rehearsals for Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee's live shows last month.

Coming from a family of griots, Salif Koné has learned how to combine tradition and modernism in his music. From the age of 6, he began to play the tama during ceremonies, as tradition dictates among griots. Very quickly, he found he had an affinity for the guitar, an instrument played by his late father Djeli Makan Koné. As a teenager, Salif was already getting recognised for his talent in Mali and he began to play in traditional ceremonies and in music groups. Later, he joined Rokia Koné‘s band and recorded for Les Amazones d’Afrique‘s second album Amazones Power. Salif is influenced by Malian, Guinean but also American sounds, and plays many musical styles including blues, bamana foli, Mandinka rock, and reggae.

In this video, Salif gives us a taste of three musical styles from Mali — Mandigue, Bamana and Tuareg. In the background you can hear some gentle keyboard accompaniment by Jacknife Lee.

Guitarist Salif Koné demonstrates three musical styles from Mali

You can see Salif Koné perform with Les Amazones d’Afrique this summer across the UK and Europe.

Check out the tour dates

Further Listening


    Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee

    Released 18 February 2022

    It’s a voice that soars — pure, clear and true — above bass and synths, traditional percussion and infectious Mande guitar grooves. A stop-you-in-your-tracks voice instantly familiar to anyone in Mali, West Africa: Rokia Koné, a.k.a the Rose of Bamako. On her debut album, she teams up with California-based rock producer Jacknife Lee to reimagine the Malian sound in ways both leftfield and beautiful.
  • Amazones Power

    Les Amazones d’Afrique

    Released 24 January 2020

    A creative force that embraces international voices; sweet, strong harmonies that summon the rights of women and girls; a meltdown of heritage and new gen talent… Les Amazones d’Afrique are back with Amazones Power, the sequel to their widely acclaimed 2017 debut album, République Amazone.

By Oran Mullan

Main image: Salif Koné at Nadjib Ben Bella's studio in Tourcoing, France. Photo credit: Oran Mullan.

Published on Mon, 02 May 22

Further reading

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