SPLA : Portal to cultural diversity

Babani Koné

Babani Koné
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Babani was born at the end of the 1960?s in Ségou, capital of Mali?s fourth Region.

Formally named Fatoumata KONE, our artiste is better known as Babani KONE and she began her apprenticeship at a very young age, with her grandmother Awa KONE, a very well-known griot singer who took her along to wedding and baptism ceremonies.

The intelligent and ambitious little girl was not slow to show her talent as a singer and easily assimilated her grandmother?s gestures, techniques and vocal intonation.

This is how she was discovered at an early age and was engaged by the area?s youth organisers to take part in various cultural events (between wards of the town, between schools, and in the Youth Pioneer Movement). In addition, Babani Koné took part in Mali?s National Artistic and Cultural Biennale Festival, and was revealed as a future star.

From that time on, she became the most popular artiste called on to entertain guests at wedding ceremonies. At the head of her generation?s most famous Stars of Mali (?Etoiles du Mali? - the Malian televised Top of the Pops), she recorded two albums: Sanou Djala, and Barika which shot her to the head of the sales charts in Mali, in the sub-region, in France and the USA, and this enabled Babani to add a new dimension to her music.
Her musical style, composed of Manden and Bamana sounds, crossed with modern rhythmic inputs, speaks to young Africans, encouraging them to get to know each other better, to take their future into their own hands and thus to be able to make progress.

She is increasingly invited to join in international musical events:
In 1983 she took part in the Festival Etoiles d?Afrique (African Stars? Festival) in Abidjan.
In 1989 she was invited with Toumani Diabaté (Kora) to the Dranoutergang Festival in Belgium
In 1999 she was much admired for her participation at the Festival Africolor in France.
In 2004 she won a prize at the Festival World Culture Open in Séoul, South Korea
In 2006 she took part in a tour as one of: Les Dangereuses (Dangeorous Women)- The Asian Music Circuit in the U.K.
In 2008 she appeared at the SFINKS Festival in Belgium
Tamani d?Or Award for Best Malian Artiste, 2008.
Tamani Award for Mali?s Best Female Artiste, 2008.
Chevalier de l?Ordre National du Mali (National Honour Award) in 2009.
Participation « Night of the African Divas» at the Paris Zénith on May 2 ,2009.
Invited to the 12th Edition of the Moroccan Gnaoua Festival at Essaouira / Musiques du Monde, June 26, 2009.
Invited to the 5th Edition of the Tunisian Mûsîqât Festival of Sidi Bou Said, October 2, 2010

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