Bassekou Kouyate returns to Leeds with his latest album Miri, a timely exploration of the importance of love, friendship, family and true values in times of crisis.
Miri means dream or contemplation in Bamana. The instrumental title track finds Bassekou back in his home village of Garana, on the banks of the Niger far away from the noise, traffic jams and political turmoil of Bamako. The rest of the album is marked by this personal, philosophical mood: his mother Yakare, who recently passed away, is honoured, and in Deli he considers the value of true friendship, lamenting that “too many people today sacrifice friendship for money”. Bassekou’s blazing mastery of the electric ngoni reaches new heights with some incredible bottleneck slide playing.
We welcome him back to the Howard Assembly Room for our tenth anniversary season, following sell-out appearances in the past both with his band Ngoni Ba, and as part of the all-star Afro-Cubism Revisited ensemble.