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Jali Musa Jawara

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Title: Jali Musa Jawara  
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Subject: Roots revival, Music of Mali, Jawara
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Jali Musa Jawara

Djeli Moussa Diawara
Born (1962-02-00)February , 1962
Kankan, Guinea
Genres Mandingo
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Kora, Guitar, Balafon
Labels CybearSonic
Associated acts Kora Jazz Trio

Djeli Moussa Diawara, [born 1962 in Kankan, Guinea is a Kora player (Korafola), a composer, and singer.

Short Biography

Djeli Moussa Diawara (also known as Jali Musa Jawara) was born to a Griot family. His father was a balafon player, and his mother a singer. His half-brother, sharing the same mother, is Mory Kanté. He became a « jali » or « djeli », mandingo word for Griot. He learnt to play the balafon, the kora and the guitar.

At 18 he played with his half-brother, who left the legendary Rail Band, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Starting his solo career, he worked with Djenne Doumbia, a great singer who later joined Salif Keita's group.

In 1983, his first LP Yasimika was recorded. It is still considered a great piece of African music today.

Then, he left for Paris.

His Flamenkora album was published in 1998, offering a rich blend of styles, from his Mandingo roots to Flamenco.

In 2000, Djeli Moussa recorded "Ocean Blues - from Africa to Hawaï" with Bob Brozman, which received good reviews.

Since then, he founded Kora Jazz Trio, joined by Abdoulaye Diabaté(sénégal) (piano) and Moussa Cissoko (drums). Djeli Moussa composed of most of the tracks, particularly those on which he sings, and he played the Kora and sometimes the guitar on the 3 albums released so far (Part I, II, & III).

Singer and musician, Djeli Moussa developed a very intimate relationship with his 32-stringed Kora, which is unique and was adapted at his request from the 21-stringed traditional Kora. He is able to adapt to many different rhythms, from traditional Mandingo to Salsa, Flamenco, Blues and Jazz.

He has worked with many internationally acclaimed artists, including Ali Farka Touré, Carlos Santana, Manu Dibango, Janice deRosa, Stephan Eicher, Cheick Tidiane Seck...



  • 1983 Yasimika (LP - republished as CD in 1991)
  • 1988 Soubindoor (World Circuit)
  • 1992 Cimadan
  • 1996 Sobindo
  • 1998 Flamenkora
  • 2000 Ocean Blues - from Africa to Hawaï with Bob Brozman
  • 2006 Sini
  • 2010 Yasimika (Abidjan 1982), remastered version of Djeli Moussa's first album
  • 2011 Yékéké (Paris 2010)

With Kora Jazz Trio

  • 2003 Part I
  • 2005 Part II
  • 2008 Part III


  • 1985 - Johnny Copeland - Djeli Moussa composed and played Djeli, Djeli Blues as Johnny's Special Guest, on "Bringin' It All Back Home"
  • 2009 - Mayra Andrade "Stória, stória..."
  • 2006 - OST for Eliane de Latour movie "Après l'océan" - song Kanta
  • 2005 - OST for Michel Ocelot French animated feature film "Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages"

External links

  • Djeli Moussa Diawara's official site and blog
  • Djeli Moussa Diawara's Youtube Channel
  • Djeli Moussa Diawara on Soundcloud
  • Djeli Moussa Diawara's MySpace Page
  • Djeli Moussa Diawara's Facebook Page
Guinea portal

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