TGIF! AfroCubism


With AfroCubism, Mali meets Cuba and a new sound is born.

"On AfroCubism I'm not playing Cuban music and the Cubans aren't playing African music. We've put together and made new music."
— Toumani Diabaté on AfroCubism in Songlines

"AfroCubism is more than a fusion… I call it an explosion because it's the merging of two such strong powers. It's the musical big bang." 
— Eliades Ochoa in Songlines

"We had translators in the studio because we didn't speak the same language, but really we didn't need them because we communicated through our instruments."
— Eliades Ochoa on AfroCubism in Songlines

Afrocubism album cover

(You might remember this album cover from the December installment of African album art)

The group is comprised of:

  • Eliades Ochoa, often dubbed as "Cuba's Johnny Cash" and a member of the Buena Vista Social Club
  • Toumani Diabaté, the renowned kora master from Mali
  • Bassekou Kouyate, the revolutionary ngoni ba player from Mali
  • Kasse Mady Diabaté, a veteran griot singer from Mali
  • Djelimady Tounkara, a Malian guitarist to be reckoned with
  • Fode Lassana Diabaté from Guinea, "the outstanding balafon player of his generation"
  • Baba Sissoko from Mali, master of the talking drum as well as the ngoni, kamelngoni, bala and calabash…Jose Angel Martinez from Cuba 
  • Jorge Maturell from Cuba
  • Onsel Odit from Cuba 
  • Eglis Ochoa from Cuba 



Photograph via The List

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