05 October 2007

Remembering Lamine Konté

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Lamine Konté. Born in Senegal's southern Casamance region, Konté was well known on the world/African music circuit, recording and touring from his base in Paris. He played kora and guitar as well as being a powerful vocalist.

In addition to his own CDs (Tinque Rinque Sidou, La Kora du Senegal, Griot Legend) he appeared on albums including Stevie Wonder's Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants. It was Stevie Wonder who sponsored Konté's first trip to the US in 1979, during which Konte taught Wonder to sing in Bambara.

“Griots could be compared to needles that stitch together the different social tissues, and tighten the links between the families," Konté once said. "Through them, we wake people from their torpor by reminding them of the great deeds of their families.”

Konté died at his home in Paris 28 September.

Konté will be remembered as one of the first artists to put a modern spin on the kora. He also goes down in music history as the man who set the work of some of the greatest poets from Africa and the African diaspora to music. --rfimusique.com

Konté was featured in SoundRoots back in May 2006: Casamance on My Mind
Konté tributes: Mondomix | rfimusique.com

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