"Toumani Diabaté (born August 10, 1965) is a Malian kora player who has gained international acclaim for his music. He is considered by many to be the world's finest kora player. He is a versatile performer, being equally at home with the traditional music of Mali as well as with cross-cultural collaborations with flamenco, blues, jazz, and other international styles." [Wikipedia]

Toumani Diabete

"Toumani has been exceptionally active of late, most recently on his second album with the Symmetric Orchestra in 2006 (“trying to rebuild the Mande Empire in a culture way – not a political way”) and In The Heart Of The Moon (2005), his Grammy-winning duet album with the late Ali Farka Touré. A second instalment from those sessions is slated for release in 2008, preceded by another solo album in 2007." [BBC]

Listen to some of Toumani's music at this Nonesuch streaming player. See Toumani live at one of THREE upcoming NYC events....

3/30/07 New York, NY Zankel Hall (tickets)
7/18/07 Brooklyn, NY Hudson Festival
7/19/07 Brooklyn, NY BAM Festival

All tour dates below...

Toumani Diabaté - 2007 Tour Dates
3/28/07 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
3/29/07 Boston, MA Somerville Theater
3/30/07 New York, NY Zankel Hall
3/31/07 Washington, DC Lisner Auditorium
7/12/07 Chicago, IL Millenium Park
7/16/07 Saratoga, CA Montalvo Arts Center
7/18/07 Brooklyn, NY Hudson Festival
7/19/07 Brooklyn, NY BAM Festival
7/20/07 Santa Fe, NM New Mexico Jazz Festival
7/21/07 Albuquerque, NM New Mexico Jazz Festival

Photo via NPR.