N'Faly Kouyaté

N'Faly Kouyaté is an internationally respected kora player based in Brussels. He is well-known as a member of the Afro Celt Sound System, a world music band of Celtic and African musicians. N'faly features on their albums since the album « vol.2: Release » (1999) and he tours with them extensively.

From a respected griot lineage, he is the son of Konkoba Kabinet Kouyaté and acquired the rare Konkoba grade of griots through which he gained knowledge about life through a range of difficult tests. In Guinea, he grew up in music, and he has performed with several ensembles such as the Troupe universitaire de Conakry, Les Héritiers de Sory Kandia Kouyaté and La Troupe Nationale de la Guinée. After he arrived in Brussels around 1996, he became very active in teaching young Belgians about Mandingue culture, and soon he created his own group Dunyakan (The Voice of the World). A non-profit organisation Namunkanda (The Defense of Culture) was created in order to channel his teaching activities and promote the understanding of African and Mandingo culture.

A successful tour in Wales in 2003, and his appearance on the Nuits d'Afrique Festival in Montreal, Quebec in 2004, were the start-off of an international career as a solo artist. His album « Kora Grooves From West Africa » was released on the ARC label and received world-wide distribution and international acclaim. He continued to perform regularly, among other occasions on the WOMAD festival in Reading, UK. In addition, one of his dreams, the founding of a music school which specializes in African music, was realized, and Cadence Mandingue (www.cadence-mandingue.be) was opened. He continues to tour in 2005 (WOMADrid, Couleur Café, Francofolies Spa), and he contributes again to a new Afro Celt Sound System album. More recently, he started a new venture with the Belgian Urban Trad, a well respected fusion band, he played on their 2006 single « Diama Dén ». In 2007, N'faly will continue recording the forthcoming album « Tunya », besides his performances as a solo artist and his teaching at Cadence Mandingue in Brussels.

Members of Dunyakan:
N'Faly Kouyaté: kora, balafon, vocals
Muriel Finet Kouyaté: djembe, percussion, backing vocals
Nankén Mady Kouyaté: guitar, tama (talking drum)
Didier Likeng (Cameroon): electric bass, backing vocals
Gato Bedseyele (Angola): conga, bongo, backing vocals
Joao Pédro Malébo "Toubarào" (Angola): drums
Virginie Pierre (Belgium): dance

N'Faly Kouyaté
N'Faly Kouyaté

Born: 1966, in Siguiri
Style: kora music / afro-fusion

Title Year Label Remarks
Change 2015 Namun Records
Kora Strings 2011 Namun Records
Tunya 2008 Galileo GMC029
Kora Grooves From West Africa 2004 ARC Music EUCD 1892 Re-release of N'na Kandjé (repackaged and distributed globally)
N'na Kandjé 2001 Namun Records

www.dunyakan.com [outdated link]
www.cadence-mandingue.be [external link]
www.afrocelts.org [outdated link]

Page added April 2007