Ami Diabate and Saran Kouyate

Lassi Diabate and daughter Ami (singing)

Lassi Diabate (on guitar) with daughter Amy, singing and dancing, 2011 

These two first cousins live in the same household with their grandmother, Bako Dagnon, who is Mali’s foremost senior female singer, originally from a small village in the north-west of Mali, Golobladji. Ami’s father is the virtuoso guitarist, Lassi Diabate, one of Bako’s sons, who performs at Bamako’s lively wedding party scene, and Saran is the daughter of another of Bako’s sons, Moussa Kouyate, a policeman. Bako has trained both children in the arts of the griot, including song and dance. 

Saran & Amy Diabate

Saran Kouyate (left, holding tamani) and Amy, 2009

Bako Dagnon

Bako Dagnon (middle) teaching her grandchildren a song, at home in Bamako, 2009

Back to Participants in Mali and Guinea

© Lucy Durán, Nicolas Magriel, Geoff Baker 2011