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Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet

You take a trio of the finest traditional griot musicians from Mali and put them in the studio with a revolutionary Western string quartet - and the outcome is one of the most unusual and rewarding musical collaborations you are ever likely to encounter.

Ladilikan, the new album by Trio da Kali and Kronos Quartet represents a landmark in cultural cross-fertilisation which both parties rank among the most satisfying musical experiences in their diverse careers. David Harrington, who founded the Kronos Quartet in 1973, enthuses that the album is “one of the most beautiful Kronos has done in forty years.” On first hearing their griot grooves being played by two violins, viola and cello, Trio da Kali’s Lassana Diabate announced, “This is going to be the best collaboration of my life.” Da Kali means ‘to give a pledge' - in this case to a musical heritage that dates back to the time of Sunjata Keita, founder of the great Mali empire in the early 13th century. The line-up of balafon (xylophone) bass ngoni (lute) and female singer is also based on ancient tradition, although the trio format and its repertoire is now an endangered species in contemporary Malian music.

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