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Babani Koné
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Babani Koné, popularly referred to as Sirani, is among the most successful singers of the last decade of the 20th century. Born in Segou at the end of the 1960s, her parents had no links with the music business, but as she grew up with her grandmother Awa Koné, who was a well known griot of her time, it was through her that Babani learned to sing at very early age. She accompanied her grandmother at numerous ceremonies and performed in school concerts. Already in the 1980s, she was frequently invited to sing during wedding ceremonies, and in 1984, she performed at the Biennales du Mali. She was also invited to perform with Toumani Diabaté on the Dranouter Festival of Folk music in Belgium in 1989. This was all well before she recorded a first album in 1996 « Sanou Djala », that was distributed on the international market in 1998 by Stern's.

Following cassettes were again very popular in Mali, and she continues to be frequently invited for « Sumu » ceremonies, where griots sing to praise their masters (« djatigui »). In 1999, she performed at the prestigious Africolor Festival near Paris. After a period of events like a divorce, a much commented private life and subsequent problems with the press in her country, she was asked to join the Opera du Sahel project. She rejected the proposal to participate in the premiere show in Amsterdam in June 2007, alledgedly she found the remuneration too little. For early 2008, she has announced a new album « Gnoumadon » which is said to be an album of classic praise songs.

Mali Music [external link]
Babani Koné

Born: In Segou as Fatoumata Koné
Style: mande, malinke, bambara, mandingo griot music, praise singing.


Title Year Label Remarks
Gnoumadon 2008 (Forthcoming)
Yelema 2004 Camara Production
Djeliya 2000 Production Babani Kone Cassette
Barika - Marie Louise 1998 Production Babani Cassette
Sanou Djala 1998 Stern's Music STCD 1085 CD Originally released in 1997 (Samassa Records)

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