Djeli Moussa Diawara, born 1962 in Kankan, Guinea is a Kora player (Korafola), a composer, and singer.

Short Biography

Djeli Moussa Diawara (also known as Jali Musa Jawara) was born to a family of the Griot tribe. His father was a balafon player, and his mother a singer. His half-brother, sharing the same mother, is Mory Kanté. He became a « jali » or « djeli », mandingo word for Griot. He learned to play the balafon, the kora and the guitar.

At 18 he played with his half-brother, who led the legendary Rail Band, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Starting his solo career, he worked with Djenne Doumbia, a great singer who later joined Salif Keita's group.

In 1983, his first LP Yasimika was recorded. It is still considered a great piece of African music today.

Then, he left for Paris.

His Flamenkora album was published in 1998, offering a rich blend of styles, from his Mandingo roots to Flamenco.

In 2000, Djeli Moussa recorded "Ocean Blues - from Africa to Hawaï" with Bob Brozman, which received good reviews.

Since then, he founded Kora Jazz Trio, joined by Abdoulaye Diabaté (piano) and Moussa Cissoko (drums). Djeli Moussa composed of most of the tracks, particularly those on which he sings, and he played the Kora and sometimes the guitar on the 3 albums released so far (Part I, II, & III).

Singer and musician, Djeli Moussa developed a very intimate relationship with his 32-stringed Kora, which is unique and was adapted at his request from the 21-stringed traditional Kora. He is able to adapt to many different rhythms, from traditional Mandingo to Salsa, Flamenco, Blues and Jazz.

He has worked with many internationally acclaimed artists, including Ali Farka Touré, Carlos Santana, Manu Dibango, Janice deRosa, Stephan Eicher, Cheick Tidiane Seck...