“With music you speak to people, you touch their hearts and bring them joy”.
Bassidi Koné is of Bwa ethnicity from the Segou region in Mali. Born into a Griot family, Bassidi grew up beside his father’s instrument, the balafon (a traditional, wooden xylophone), instilling in him his forefathers’ traditional village songs and rhythms. Bassidi carried on his family’s musical heritage, showing promising skill in both the balafon and the djembe.
After moving to Bamako at thirteen, Bassidi met Koninba Bagayogo, a meeting that profoundly influenced his musical career as a percussionist. Playing alongside this master djembe player, the young Bassidi extended his knowledge and skill, distinguishing himself through his innovative solo lead playing and technical virtuosity.
Driven to defend his rich Bwa heritage, Bassidi formed and now leads his multi-instrumental percussion and dance troupe, Bwazan (Bobo children), a family group from the same line of Griots. Bwazan are ambassadors of their musical heritage, promoting a message of peace and solidarity.
More information about Bwazan can be found at bwazan-mali.com.
“Traveling from his culturally rich and vibrant homeland of Mali (West Africa), following in the footsteps of great artists before him such as Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, Toumani Diabaté and Rokia Traoré, virtuoso drummer and balafonist Bassidi Koné now brings his shining spirit and awe inspiring musical expression to Australia”.
Multicultural Arts Victoria
Bassidi tours internationally and collaborates with diverse ensemble groups and musicians from varied musical backgrounds, delving into Afro-jazz, latin, reggae, classical and contemporary genres. His skilful artistry shows his ability to adapt these varied genres with his own, while honouring the integrity of his own heritage.
Bassidi has been involved in a number of milestone performances in Australia, these include The Meander Project, a unique musical collaboration between Multicultural Arts Victoria and students from the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), and Sankofa, a collaboration with Australia’s leading, and internationally recognised Afro-contemporary dance company, Asanti Dance Theatre.
In May 2014, Bassidi worked with Koné Express, a 9-piece Afro-Jazz ensemble. The Koné Express received a grant from Australia Council for an Australian national tour in April/May 2014. During this tour they launched their debut album “Non Stop”. This tour included sold-out performances at the Mornington Winter Jazz Festival (Melbourne), Bella Union (Melbourne), The Nexus (Adelaide),and Bemac World Music Café (Brisbane).
In November 2016, Bassidi was honoured to bring a Malian voice to the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC16), in Indianapolis, IN, U.S.A, presenting a clinic performance about the djembe and bala (balafon).
Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC16)
Indianapolis, IN, U.S.A. (2016)
Koné Express Australian Tour
Australia (May-June 2014)
The Meander Project
Melbourne, Australia (2013)
The Emerge Festival
Fitzroy Town Hall, Melbourne, Australia (2013)
Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne (2012)
An afro-contemporary work with Asanti Dance Theatre