After the World War War II, the kora was popularized world wide by Sidiki Diabate (1922~1996) and Jeli Madi Sissoko, two kora
virtuosos, coming from Gambia. Pioneers, they had the deep feeling that the «jèlíya »
was offering them the best chance to head up Mandenka political and cultural legacies occulted since such a long time by colonizers ; so, they took an active part, each one on their own, in the
struggle for he independence and the emancipations of the minds as the joined the new political groups. See the history of Kaira During the years
1940 and 1950, when the movement for independence started, «Kaira» was the name adopted by the association of the young jelis of the city Kita... Read more about, for example.
After the independence (1960), they took part in the foundation of the Instrumental Ensemble
of Mali, one of the first African national acoustic band.
They collaborated with the great Sory Kandia Kouyate and played on ones of the most
famous albums of the Mande traditional music : The Epic of Mandingue vol. 1 & The Epic of Mandingue vol. 2
In 1971, they joined to two others famous korafoláluA kora
player is called korafolá (who is able to make the kora talk) - korafolálu, plural. from Mali, Batrou Sekou Kouyate and N'Fa Diabate for the recording the album : «Mali : Ancient
Strings», first unique instrumental album of kora. That album had all the more extraordinary repercussions as, traditionally, in the classic Manding music, one
would play instruments only as an accompaniment for the singer(s).
That record (remasterized and released by Buda Records © CD 1977822 in 2000) is still today a unique reference for the
traditional way of playing kora ; on my own, I learn every day (or almost) a take a kora lesson every time I listen to that
great and amazing record...