, is a young kora player from that notorious dyeli
town of Kita, in the
West of Mali. His father, Djelimory Diabaté
, played kora in the National Instrumental Ensemble of Mali
As a small child, Mamadou lived with his father in Bamako, and when it was time to enter primary school in Kita,
he already knew that he would live for his kora, not for studies. His mother, though, was worried about his school
results and took his kora away. Mamadou decided to build his own kora and continued to play, and eventually left school.
He started playing at weddings and baptisms, and won a first price in a regional music competition at age of
fifteen. In 1996, he was invited to join the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali for touring in the United States,
and he decided to stay. He now lives in New York, where he is frequently invited to perform at concerts
of Malian artists or with American jazz celebreties.
His style of kora playing is innovating and versatile, yet respecting the traditions of this ancient instrument
and reminds the style of his cousin Toumani Diabaté
, with whom he worked before
Mamadou left for the United States.