We told you a little bit about Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba and Next Ambiance in this post last year, but I think it’s time for an update and a look ahead to what’s in store for 2010. I Speak Fula was released in Europe in the fall of last year to a pretty incredible response. Among others, Mojo , Uncut and fRoots all had I Speak Fula in their top albums of the year and Bassekou played on, in my humble opinion, the best music television show in the world – Jools Holland (you can watch his performance here and a bonus performance here ).
We’ll be releasing I Speak Fula on CD through Sub Pop/Next Ambiance on February 2nd (it’s available now through Itunes). Bassekou will be spending a considerable amount of time in the US in 2010 with his band Ngoni ba. I haven’t had the chance to see him yet but his live show has the reputation of turning the curious into devoted fans. The first string of dates is part of Bela Fleck’s Africa Project tour. Bassekou was featured in Throw Down Your Heart film, which tells the story of Bela Fleck’s journey to explore the origins of the banjo. The album and the title track were nominated for Grammy’s this year in the Best Contemporary World Music Album and Best Pop Instrumental Performance categories. Bassekou plays on the album and the title track. (Fingers crossed).
Following that tour Bassekou will be taking his band on a headlining tour of the US and hitting various music festivals throughout the spring and summer. There is a list of confirmed dates here . It looks like Bassekou will be playing almost 100 shows in the US this year. Why not check out a show if you can?
Here is an mp3 for the song Musow to give you a taste of what these folks are all about.
You can preorder I Speak Fula here ($2 off before release date)