Salif with his father, Mamadou, in 2009
Salif in 2011
Salif Diabate comes from a family of world-famous kora players. His father is acclaimed virtuoso Mamadou “Madou Sidiki” Diabate, his uncle is multi-award winning kora player Toumani Diabate, and his grandfather, originally from Gambia, was Sidiki Diabate, who pioneered solo kora in the 1940s and 50s. The family live in Bamako but maintain close ties with the Gambia.
Because Madou Sidiki is often on tour, much of the teaching of Salif has been entrusted to Boubacar Cissoko, a relative from Senegal now living in Mali. Salif has also been a participant in the Mali-Cuba project: see Mali-Cuba.com