As part of its significant, continuing collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative (an education programme promoted by the Aga Khan Foundation), the Intercultural Institute for Comparative Music Studies is staging a concert by Da Kali Trio on 1 July. The members of this Malian group belong to the griot family tradition of the Mandé language and culture, rooted in the south of the country. Each of the
three musicians thus comes from a griot family, which preserves and hands down knowledge orally from one generation to the next. In some ways the griot, a singer, musician and storyteller, can be compared
to the Western mediaeval troubadour, a great specialist of the word.
Formed a few years ago for a joint project with the celebrated Kronos string quartet, who often collaborate with musicians from various parts of the world, the trio is made up of the singer Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté (daughter of the famous musician Kassé Mady Diabaté), Lassana Diabaté on balafon (the typical West African xylophone) and Mamadou Koyaté on ngoni (short-necked African lute, with a low register acting as a bass). The three musicians, who also pursue independent projects, work together with the aim of showcasing forgotten or neglected griot repertories or styles of performance, and of bringing them into contact with the new languages of contemporary music. Their repertoire thus ranges from traditional songs to new modern pieces that have become World Music hits.
Trio Da Kali has played in major festivals and venues, such as the Royal Albert Hall, London, the Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, the Royal Festival Hall, London, and the Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland. The concert is to be held in the Sala degli Arazzi at the Fondazione Cini; free admission while seats last.