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Musiques d'Afrique:

Youssouf Karembe & Kumo Band
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Youssouf Karembe, born in 1973 in Bandiagara, started playing guitar in the 1990s. Being a danser of the local orchestra Les Echos de la Falaise de Bandiagara, he became their guitar player later on. He bought some musical equipment of his own and founded a first group, Yurugu with 6 musicians and 2 dancers, but the group was shortlived. Youssouf joined the Orchestre Communal de Sagansiré in the town of Mopti. Two years later, he came back to Bandiagara to get inspiration from the music of the Dogon, such as Sandjiré, koju pèrè and gona). In 1997, throughout a period of 5 months, he visited various dogon villages to record and translate traditional songs. He also met dogon artists such as Endielou Dolo, dancer of the famous Sangha masks, and Etienne Kéné, dogon singer.

In 2002, Youssouf Karembe eventually created the Kumo Band, with which he tries to develop a mandingo style music based on dogon traditions, sung in various languages, Dogon, Bambara, Peul, Songhaï and French. Main inspirations are Salif Keita, Boubacar Traoré and Habib Koité. In 2006, their album « Toguna » came out, named after a traditional meeting hut, with a low ceiling. As soon as somebody gets carried away during a village meeting and stand up, he will hit his head on the rooftop and will calm down and sit again. Toguna stands therefore for African communication and understanding.
Youssouf Karembe is now based in Paris, and is doing concerts in bars and restaurants as well as small festivals. He also performed in Belgium and Italy and his music has been used in a few documentary films in France and Germany.

Musicians on the Toguna album:
Youssouf Karembé : composer, lead vocal, guitar
Boubacar Sanogo : guitar
Bangnangara Sagara : djembé, tamani, backing vocals
Yero Dicko : bass
Abdoulaye Senou : calabash

In Paris, Youssouf is accompanied by:
Jack SELE bass
Ibrahim Koné percussion
Fred Chabus drums
Jean-Noel Bertrand saxophone
Youssouf Diabaté kamalen ngoni, tamani

Youssouf Karembé's Press book
Youssouf Karembe's Myspace page [external link]

Born: 15 September 1973, in Bandiagara
Style: afro-fusion, dogon, mande, malinke, mandingo music.

Kumo Band


Title Year Label Remarks
Toguna (5-tracks digital release) 2010 Self-produced
Toguna 2006 Self-produced

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