Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali

Kronos Quartet
Trio Da Kali

Saturday, February 22, 2014 . 8PM
Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali
Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali photo by Lenny Gonzalez
Principal People: 

22-key balafon Fodé Lassana Diabaté

Singer Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté

Bass ngoni Mamadou Kouyaté

Event Attributes

Presented By

Presented By: 
Estimated Length: 
2 hours with no intermission
Program Notes: 

Kronos Quartet is known for eclectic musical interests that lead them to create rich and unexpected concert experiences — and that often lead them to collaborations with artists from around the globe.

This season, in partnership with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the Aga Khan Music Initiative, Kronos will join in concert with famed Malian vocalist Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté and instrumentalists Fodé Lassana Diabaté and Mamadou Kouyaté, in Trio Da Kali's first visit to the United States.

The three musicians of Trio Da Kali hail from the Mande culture of Mali, from a heritage of distinguished griots (specialist hereditary musical artisans). Long-term collaborators, the artists aim to bring to the forefront neglected repertoires and performance styles of the griots, celebrating the African continent’s finest, most subtle and sublime music. In doing so, they bring a fresh, contemporary, creative twist to their musical art, breathing new life back into this ancient music.

Trio Da Kali presents a performance that revolves around the soaring, rounded vibrato voice of Hawa Kassé Mady, who performs the songs she grew up with in Kela, one of the most musical centers of the griot world. The program includes dazzling solo balafon pieces by the group’s leader Lassana Diabaté on the 22-key balafon. Few can match his lyricism and virtuosity, and the resonant sound of the rosewood keys of his balafon. Mamadou Kouyaté underpins the music with punchy bass lines on a large ngoni, West Africa’s oldest string instrument.

Aga Khan Trust for Culture Music Initiative
​This concert is presented in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This event is part of the Arts in My Neighborhood initiative by the Emerging Arts Advocates of Maryland program of Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

Review by

If you missed the recent collaborative concert with Kronos Quartet and Mali’s Trio Da Kali at the Clarice Smith Center, you missed an awesome, possibly life-changing show.

— MICHAEL BUCKLEY,, February 27, 2014

Kronos Stories: Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Musician (Trio Da Kali), translation by Lucy Durán

Fodé Lassana Diabaté, balafon player and musical director of Trio Da Kali, reflects on experiences (and surprises!) during the ensemble's collaboration with Kronos Quartet.

Preview by The Gazette

[David] Harrington also said that the successful collaboration with Trio Da Kali shows that people from different traditions can work to understand each other and resolve differences.

'It proves to the world that we can work things out and that you can find ways to make beautiful things for the future,' he said. 'It’s very uplifting and optimistic.'

— VIRGINIA TERHUNE, The Gazette, February 20, 2014

Kronos Stories: Lucy Durán, Ethnomusicologist / Record Producer / Radio Presenter

Renowned scholar and African music expert Lucy Durán dsicusses Kronos Quartet's approach to cross-cultural collaboration.

Music Time in Africa

Music Time in Africa host Heather Maxwell discusses a Malian musical event at the University of Maryland with Voice of America's Vincent Makori.