A friendship with Adelaide born percussionist Simon Lewis that began in Mali 2010 has grown into a collaboration with six talented musicians from Melbourne, Australia.

Drawing inspiration from the traditional songs and rhythms of the Mandinka, Bamabara and Bobo tradition, the Koné Express play a fearless and foot stomping set that navigates itself effortlessly through the realms of afro-jazz, latin and reggae. On a rock solid afro rhythm section the young Koné weaves entrancing melodies on an enormous pentatonic marimba that originates from the Bobo tribes of Burkina Faso. A powerful horn section, dub keys and sublime guitar riffs create an expressive and heart-felt musical convergence.

In February 2014, 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 (Adelaid),and Bemac World Music Café (Brisbane).


“Non Stop”
Recorded in Bamako, Mali and Melbourne
Mastered in London
Genre: Afro-jazz, Latin, Trance, Reggae

CliSoundcloud Imageck here to listen to this album on Sound Cloud.



“The stellar standout is, of course, balafonist Bassidi Koné. His skill around this traditional wooden xylophone is phenomenal. He plays with lightning speed, laying down and decorating melodies, improvising, elaborating, taking the audience on an aural rocket ride.  He’s a dab hand at djembe too – especially if there’s a dancer on hand to inspire him. The rest of the ensemble plays rockingly, funkily, instrumentally awesome music too!  An uplifting and energising night out.

Anne Harkin – Multicultural Arts Victoria



VIDEO: Koné Express – Australian Tour, 2014

© Koné Express photos courtesy of Anne Harkin

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