Kerfala Kanté (1959-2019)

Kerfala Kanté was born a griot. Son of Soungarou Kemo Kanté and Yansana Kourouma, he started playing balafon since young age. When he was 15 years old, he took up the acoustic guitar and soon this instrument too had no secrets for him. He played at ceremonies such as weddings and christening parties.
His talent had been recognised and he joined the Tropical Djoli Band in 1980. During that period, he was successful with a song he had wrote, « Deni Kéléni ».

In 1984, he was asked to join one of the big orchestras, Balla et ses Balladins, created in the 1960s. Unfortunately, problems had already begun for this orchestra and lack of money prevented them from frequent performing. Kerfala's good contacts with Guinean radio RTG led eventually to the possibility to record a first cassette « L'Oiseau de Sankara ». Since then, he recorded more albums, and most of his albums were released on CD. Already in 1994, one of his early songs « N'Na Djanssama » was selected for the sampler « Electric & Acoustic Mali » as one of the two Guinean songs on this CD.

In July 2019, he fell ill and was hospitalised and after a short illness he died during the night between 18 and 19 July.

Album cover « Que se passe-t-il? »
Album cover «Que se passe-t-il?»
Musicians on the "Que se passe-t-il?" album:
Kerfala Kante lead vocals & guitar
Alpha Camara percussion
Djely Moussa Kouyate guitar
Adama Conde guitar, balafon
Djely Moussa Conde kora
Eric Vincenot bass
Yves Ndjock guitar
Yeye Kante percussion
Nicolas Gueret saxophone
Christophe Dutray trumpet
Jacques Bolognesi trombone
Philippe Guez keyboards and programming
Ibrahima Soumano "RDA" guitar
Hadja Maningbe Kouyate, Oliza & Wande Kouyate backing vocals

Born: 1959, in Koumandikoura (70km from Faranah - Haute Guinée)
Style: "electric" mandingo music

Title Year Label Remarks
Merci 2016 Tidiane World Music CD-R
Djely Laye 2016 Tidiane World Music Digital release
Biyedi 2012 Stern's Digital release
New System 2007 Syllart 823484 Distribution Discograph
Que se passe-t-il? 2002 Syllart SYLAF 96175
Sénékéla 1999 Syllart
Fara-Fina 1996 Super Sound
L'oiseau de Sankara (Vol. 2) 1994 Super Sound SS-2164 Cassette
L'oiseau de Sankara 1992 Sonodisc CD6812

CD liner notes Que se passe-t-il?

Page added February 2004