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Ba Cissoko’s music is firmly grounded in the tradition of Guinean kora music, whilst embracing a wide array of modern influences. It is for this reason that his music is loved by old and young alike in his homeland. The sound is definitely new, which appeals to the younger audience. Yet the older generation of Guineans love it for its strong acknowledgement of their traditional music.
Ba was born in 1967 in the west African state of Guinea-Bissau. Although his father was a prominent kora player with the Djoliba ballet, Ba seemed to show no interest in the instrument which he considered old-fashioned. When Ba was 14, obsessed with football and struggling at school, his uncle and kora maestro M’Baty Kouyaté offered to teach...