West African music concert featuring Yacouba Sissoko at The Dorsky on April 9

NEW PALTZ – The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz is pleased to present a West African music concert featuring Yacouba Sissoko, a Master kora player from the Djely griot tradition, with Famoro Dioubate on the Mandeng balafon. The concert will take place on Tuesday, April 9 at 5 pm at The Dorsky Museum.

Yacouba Sissoko is a Master kora player from the Djely griot tradition. As such he is member of a caste responsible for maintaining an oral record of tribal history in the form of music, poetry, and storytelling. Born in Kita, Mali, his grandfather, Samakoun Tounkara, began teaching Yacouba when he was 12 years old. Samakoun’s wife Bintouba Diabate was a famous singer in her own right. They raised Yacouba and educated him in his griot heritage.

Yacouba Sissoko

He is in demand as one of the best kora players in the world, playing with jazz, Latin, and R & B bands, as well as traditional African ceremonies. As leader of his own band, Siya, and member of the group Super Mande, Yacouba continues to record with many famous musicians, including the groups Source, Tamalalou, and Fula Flute.

Famoro Dioubate
was born in Conakry, Guinea to a griot family. He is the grandson of El Hadj Djelli Sory Kouyate, a living legend of the Mandeng balafon. During his teens, he spent a five years in Abidjan and worked with Cheik Smith-Sherif and Sekou Camara Cobra. Back in Conakry, he co-founded "Les Heritiers" with Sekouba Kandia Kouyate and recorded the albums "Kandia Dinke" and "Nyoumekela" with this group. Concurrently, he was the understudy of his grandfather in the Ensemble Instrumental National and routinely performed for the President and visiting foreign dignitaries. He was a member of Mory Kante’s orchestra for the performances and recording of the "Traditional Symphonie." In the early nineties, he was a member of the "Groupe Standard" which accompanied most of the visiting great stars of African music in Guinea. In the United States since the late nineties, he has worked as a freelance musician for a variety of groups and dance companies in performances and recordings.

The April 9th concert is part of an ongoing series of programs presented by The Dorsky in conjunction with its exhibitions Malian Portrait Photography and Photo-Rapide: François Deschamps, on view at the museum through Sunday, April 14, 2013.


The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, located at SUNY New Paltz, is fast gaining wide recognition as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, the Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky was officially dedicated on Oct. 20, 2001. Since then it has presented over one hundred exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, and Carolee Schneemann.

For more information about The Dorsky Museum and its programs, visit
http://www.newpaltz.edu/museum, or call (845) 257-3844.