ToumaniDiabate is considered as being one of the most important instrumentalists who has come from Africa. He is considered as one of the best players and most well-known of African Kora players. He is even considered an ambassador of African music to the rest of the world. ToumaniDiabate is a professional musician has released over a dozen albums that have been widely praised around the world. Aside from being an award-winning musician, ToumaniDiabate has also been a teacher of the Kora as well, he teaches classes at the Bamako Conservatory of Music.
ToumaniDiabate was born in Bamako of the country of Mali, in East Africa. He was born to a family of who had a long history of playing the musical instrument, Kora. In fact, his father was one of the first people to record an album. Kora players in his family-run for 71 generations. The best known of his family was his father, SidikiDiabate, born in the Gambia. Toumani’s father was a kora player of illustrious fame in Western Africa and was very well-known player of the instrument during a certain period of time in Africa.
As a child genius, Toumanistarted playing the Kora at the age of five. He often played the Kora while he was at school. And during all of that time, Mali was also taught by the rest of his family on how to play the Kora. His family, at that time, was also engaged in an active program to encourage regional ensembles to represent local traditional folk music. Toumani, himself, was recruited by the ensemble of traditional Malian musicians from a neighboring town. With that troupe of new musicians, ToumaniDiabate made his first appearance at the age of thirteen, where he was well-received and had a lot of acclaim among his peers.
At the age of nineteen, ToumaniDiabate made his first professional debut by touring with a famous West African singer across different locations in Africa. These performances help spread people being aware of ToumaniDiabate, and it also helped Toumani hone his own music composition skills as well. Since then, Toumani has been touring around the world for several years now. He has had over 2000 concerts across different international countries. And he has participated in over 170 international music festivals around the world as well.
Currently, ToumaniDiabate is trying to preserve the heritage and practice of traditional Kora music playing in his native country of Mali. He is trying to educate younger generations on how to play the instrument, and also wants to encourage them to explore all of the new possibilities and creative ways on how to experiment with Kora music. He has been a teacher of Kora Music and Malian musical storytelling to many students. He founded and currently acts as the chairman of MandinkaKora Productions. This is an organization that was created by Toumani to promote the development of Kora music through festivals, events, and even kora workshops as well.