The Artists

Tunde Jegede

Tunde Jegede is known as a pioneer of classical/African music. A master kora player and virtuoso cellist, his first composition, "Lamentation" (1995) was hailed by the BBC as "a masterpiece".  Over the past decade he has worked with some of the premier musicians from Africa as well as from the western classical world.

His composition "Fleuve Niger" was performed at a historic concert at The Basilique in Paris in 2009.  It's a sublime fusion of classical and African music with a ensemble of musicians including The Brodsky Quartet of London, Oumou Sangaré and Toumani Diabaté and several superb and well known musicians from West Africa.

Over the years he has been commissioned to write works for many orchestras and chamber groups including The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia, Sinfonia ViVA, the London Sinfonietta and the Brodsky Quartet. He was also innovations composer for Orchestra Live and during that time wrote a concerto for the percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

In February of 2013, Tunde was a featured speaker (and performer) at TED Talks in Long Beach, CA.

The Brodsky Quartet

The Brodsky Quartet are at the forefront of the international chamber-music scene and are known for their pioneering work with a diverse range of performing artists, including Elvis Costello, Sting, Anne Sofie von Otter, Dawn Upshaw and Björk. The Brodsky Quartet has inspired and influenced some of the finest new repertoire for string quartet and their passion to embrace ‘all good music’ has been the driving force behind their success for well over 30 years, reflected in their huge and diverse discography.

Oumou Sangaré

Oumou Sangare is Mali’s great diva and one of Africa’s foremost female vocalists of our time. She is often referred to as ‘The songbird of Wassoulou’ with her distinctive and hauntingly beautiful voice which is instantly recognizable.  In her work she is an advocate for women’s rights chronicling their viewpoints and experiences in many of her songs and she has gone on to become a worldwide cultural icon for Mali and particularly Wassolou music internationally.

Toumani Diabaté

Toumani Diabaté is a cultural ambassador of Malian music and one of the finest exponents of the Kora in the world today. As a virtuosic soloist he has taken his instrument far beyond its traditional confines and has worked with some of the finest artists in the world from many diverse genres including, Ali Farka Toure, Bjork, Taj Mahal, Damon Albarn, Ketama and the London Symphony Orchestra. 

Juldeh Camara

Juldeh Camara is a Gambian griot and master musician.  Camara has been recognized as the leading riti player in the world.  Recently he has established a successful partnership with Justin Adams, releasing their collaborative albums "Soul Science", "Tell No Lies" in May 2009 and "The Trance Sessions" EP in February 2010.

Juldeh has the drive and effortless flow of a great Bluesman.  He describes magical shapes on his riti; one minute it's Blues harp, the next a Celtic fiddle, then a Saharan herdsman's flute. It is hard to believe all this emotion, range and flexibility comes from just one string.  He is also a member of Tunde's African Classical Ensemble.

Kasse Mady Diabaté

Kasse Mady Diabate is one of the most cherished singers in Mali, known for his profound knowledge of Mali's deepest oral and musical traditions, for his ability to adapt these traditions into a modern context, and for the sheer beauty and ethereal quality of his tenor voice.  He is known as "the voice of Mali" and has collaborated with Tunde on many projects.

(Paris photos by Sunara Begum)