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… and then I sat down at my djembe with Bassidi!  I heard this monster play and realised just how much depth the djembé really has. I bought Bassidi’s album, which follows me almost everywhere today, along with the memory. I am not sure if he remembers me but it doesn’t matter. What I took from this experience motivates a part of who I am today. And that’s all that matters.

– Itai Reznik (Israel)

Masaki Yamashita (2018)

Japan

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Weedie Braimah (2017)

U.S.A.

“Bassidi is a genuine and amazing guy! For me, meeting with Bassidi was all about the playing; the music. What I love about him is that he is not just a djembe player, but a true musician, and a true craftsman of the music. He takes the music and he walks with the music. He understands the musicality of each song; the style, and he is also creating his own style. I respect that, and that is the same thing I am doing here in the U.S. Bassidi has become a genuine voice for the music of Burkina Faso and the music of Mali, making him, in my opinion, one of the forefront guys for this style of music.
It was a real honour to be picked up by Bassidi from my hotel each day, hang out as friends, as brothers, and have a mutual respect for each other. I am very touched and honoured to have linked up with him while I was in Bamako. He is a very amazing human being and is highly respected. It was also such an honour for us to play together, with him and the great ‘Petit’ Adama Diarra, his cousin.
His ensemble, Bwazan, for me, was touching to watch; to see Bassidi and them create, orchestrate and demonstrate the level of professionalism and mastery that they have. I wish nothing but the best for him and Bwazan, and pray to God that he will be able to bring his group here to the U.S. one day, and to Europe, Australia, Asia; he deserves it, they deserve it.
I am looking forward to collaborating with both Bassidi Koné and ‘Petit’ Adama Diarra in future!”

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Hae Dong (2015)

Korea

‘Mamady Keita’, ‘Bangoura Ke’, ‘Thomas Gui’, ‘Dramane Diabate’ 등 수많은 연주자들을 만나고 그들에게 수년간 서아프리카의 타악기와 문화를 배워왔다. 그 와중에 인터넷을 통해 ‘Bassidi Kone’의 연주를 접하게 되었고, 막연히 그를 꼭 만나보고 싶다고 생각해 왔다.

2015년 다시 서아프리카에 방문했을 때 Fespop Senegal 에 그의 팀 ‘Bwazan’이 온다는 이야기를 듣고, 한걸음에 달려가 ‘Bassidi Kone’ & ‘Bwazan’과 첫 만남을 갖게 되었다.
이후 ‘Madou Kone’ 라는 이름을 나에게 지어주고, Louga(Senegal)-Bamako(Mali)-Bobodioulaso(BurkinaFaso)-Wagadougu(BurkinaFaso) 까지 긴 여행에 나를 가족같이 잘 챙겨주었다.

그들과 함께하는 시간은 그 어느때보다 유쾌하고, 즐거웠으며, 나에게 있어 아프리카 음악과 문화를 더 가까이서 배우고, 이해할 수 있는 시간이었다. 또한 ‘Bassidi Kone’는 인터넷으로 접한 것보다 훨씬 더 놀라운 실력과 스피릿을 가진 연주자였으며, 그것을 잘 전달해주고자 하는 좋은 선생이자 친구이기도 하였다.

나는 올해도 내년에도 앞으로 계속 최고의 친구들이자 가족인 그들과 함께 할 것이다.
그리고 만약 누군가가 서아프리카에서의 새로운 경험을 기대한다면, 정말 환상적인 연주자를 만나고 싶어한다면 나는 망설임없이 ‘Bassidi Kone’ & ‘Bwazan’ 을 찾아가라고 말 할 것이다.

I have been learning the instruments and cultures of West Africa for many years, and have met many great djembe players, including Mamady Keita, Bangoura Ke, Thomas Gui, and Dramane Diabate. During the time, I had heard Bassidi Kone’s many times, and had heard about his style of playing and technique. I had a dream of meeting him someday.

When I visited West Africa again in 2015, I heard news that Bwazan, Bassidi’s percussion group, were performing at FESFOP Festival in Louga, Senegal. So I went there directly to meet with them.

Bassidi and Bwazan gave me a new name, ‘Madou Koné’, and they looked after me well during the long journey from Louga (Senegal) to Bamako (Mali), then on to Bobo-Dioulasso and Ouagadougu (BurkinaFaso). It was a fun and joyful time for me. I learned much about African culture and music. Bassidi has marvellous skill and spirit. He was my best teacher, and now a good friend as well. I’ll will study with Bassidi this year, and next year, and so on.

If you want a new experience, and to meet a fantastic player, I recommend, without hesitation, meeting with Bassidi Koné and Bwazan.

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Sony Manning (2014)

Melbourne, Australia

I spent one short week with Bassidi Koné and Bwazan during the 2014 Christmas period. The experience was incredible! Bassidi and his family made me feel so welcome.

During the week, Bwazan toured to nearby Siby Village to perform at Mali’s renowned ‘Fescauri’ festival. They played alongside Grammy nominee, Bassekou Kouyaté and his band N’goni Ba, and Cheick Sissoko. The music and talent was phenomenal, truly unparalleled! All people, young and old, came from nearby regions to join the festival and it became one big village party! Alongside my daughter, I was amazed that we were the only white people there! During our stay we slept in the village schoolhouse, along with all the other invited musicians and artists.

A rare and unforgettable experience!

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Itai Reznik (2013)

Israel

את Bassidi Koné פגשתי בבורקינה פאסו לפני 4 וחצי שנים. היה אירוע כלשהו, חתונה או משהו בסגנון (אני כבר לא זוכר). הוא בא לביקור ממאלי עם האלבום החדש של ההרכב שלו Bwazan . לא ידעתי מילה בצרפתית וכל התקשורת המילולית שלנו הסתכמה בו מצביע על עצמו ואומר “מאלי” ואני מצביע על עצמי ואומר “ישראל”.
ואז התיישבנו על התופים…
ואני שמעתי את המפלצת הזאת. והבנתי כמה עומק יש בדג’מבה.
קניתי אלבום שמלווה אותי כמעט בכל מקום. יחד עם הזכרון. לא בטוח אם הוא זוכר אותי וזה בכלל לא משנה, מה שלקחתי ממנו מניע חלק ממה שאני היום. וזה מה שחשוב.

And then I sat down at my djembe with Bassidi. I heard this monster play and realised just how much depth the djembé has. I bought Bassidi’s album, which follows me almost everywhere today, along with the memory. I am not sure if he remembers me but it doesn’t matter. What I took from this experience motivates a part of who I am today. And that’s all that matters.

Simon Lewis (2012)

Melbourne, Australia

In 2012 I travelled to Bamako, Mali with two of my drumming students Dave and Vito. It was a rewarding and enriching experience for us. I was impressed by the hospitality provided by Bassidi Koné and the Bwazan ensemble. The food was excellent (thank you Somyla): a variety of traditional and Western dishes; and always fresh and tasty. The accommodation was clean, comfortable and secure, and was close to the city and many good markets. The tuition, (mostly on djembe and dundun) given by Bassidi and other members of Bwazan was of the highest standard and always friendly, fun, encouraging and challenging. Bassidi made sure that each of us were getting the right level of instruction. He also took time to help organise extra curricular activities like soccer matches, visits to artisian markets and dining at Western restaurants for special occasions. We saw many amazing local drum and dance events, festivals and concerts both in Bamako and also in surrounding villages.
After three glorious weeks of drumming……..Vito went to learn djembe carving, Dave took n’goni lessons on the roof and I managed to pack a twenty foot container with drums!!
Thank you Bassidi. Iniche.
What a great trip.

Regards,
Simon Lewis
Percussionist – Melbourne Australia

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Robert Damm (2011)

Mississippi State, U.S.A

“Bassidi Koné was my teacher for jembe (West African drum) and balafon (xylophone) lessons when I studied the music and culture of Mali for three months in the Fall of 2011. Koné is certainly a rising star of the jembe and balafon in Mali, a dedicated musician who is recognized for his technical virtuosity. There could be no better jembe teacher than a musician who comes from the region of Mali and Guinea where the instrument originated. He can share with you the jembe rhythms of the many traditional dances of Mali and Guinea. He knows the standard accompaniment patterns and has also distinguished himself through his innovative solo lead playing. In addition to demonstrating technique and rhythms on the drum, he uses the helpful pedagogical tool of vocalization (e.g tun-pe-ti-pa) to clarify tones and rhythms. Since he is an instrument builder, he has valuable insights and experience regarding the history, construction, and tuning of the drum and balafon. Bassidi is a passionate musician and you can see this by the happy expression on his face when he plays, that he loves music and especially, playing the jembe. If you want to study jembe with a great jembefola, please take the opportunity to learn from Bassidi Koné.”

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