Zal Sissokho is a real Kora genius. He has always been living in a musical environment and has been playing music since he was 11. He sings and composes in Mandingue and Wolof languages. Respect, man!
He comes from the large and ancient Sissokho family and plays Kora like a spider weaves its web. A music web in which you get caught from the first notes.
Zal Sissokho must be part of these Senegalese artists who aren’t king in their own land, as I have never seen any monument or street with his name in Dakar.
Zal played in numerous countries, on four continents. In Africa, he played in Senegal, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Morocco. In Asia, he played in India. In North America, he toured in almost all Canadian provinces and cities, including Kingston (Ontario), where the first Prime Minister comes from: Sir John Alexander Macdonald who was a controversial, definitively very unique man!In North America still, my pal Zal also played in the US and Mexico. And finally, in South America, he regularly plays in Brazil. So often even, that Quebeckers have rather make sure that they treat this talented artist really well, otherwise he might very well move there (I hope I’m wrong, though!).
Many people are wondering about the spelling of Sissokho. Sometimes it’s with a C, like “Cissokho”, sometimes it’s Cissoko without a “H”. But Zal Sissokho, who also is a proud Griot1, explained to us that, in the end, they are simply all part of the large “6ssokho” family.
Now, here is for a scoop: in February 2017, he will be releasing his 3rd album – Inch’ Allah! And one more little secret – but don’t repeat this one, ok? Zal Cissokho doesn’t know how to play “Toukhoucigalame” ! Imagine, he can play an instrument with twenty-one strings (yes, 21!!) like a star, but he is lost with this little thing that only has one string lol.
Happy New Year 2017!
To know more :
Souleymane Diamanka, Zal Sissokho, Festival Nuits d’Afrique (African Nights Festival, no comment, a must see, that’s all.)
Zal, Tiago Delegado and Matheus Bahiense no Baobar (one of SaDunya admins cannot go to sleep without listening to this one first, but he will get over it)
PS : Go have a look at Zal Sissokho’s website to know more about him, but don’t forget to come back to SaDunya, right?
1 A Griot is a West African historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet and/or musician. The griot is a repository of oral tradition and is often seen as a societal leader due to his or her traditional position as an advisor to royal personages. (Source: Wikipedia.org)
In Zal Sissokho’s case, he passes the Mandingue tradition on.
Zal, you’re to me the best Kora player in the world. Yes I’m one of your fans for long time. I really feel what you play and I love it.
Looking forward to having your new album on February.
Thanks for this wonderful article.
Joli article ! J’aime vraiment beaucoup le son de la kora, c’est apaisant je trouve. Bonne continuation Zal, en espérant te voir bientôt te produire en France.