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
(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