World class African artist performs and teaches at
Sunshine Coast Afro Foli Festival
Bassidi Koné is of Bobo origin, whose family originates in the region of San in Segou, Mali. Bassidi grew up beside his father’s favourite instrument, the balaphon (a traditional, wooden xylophone).
During his early teenage years, Bassidi moved to Bamako and began playing alongside a master djembefola (djembe player). The young Bassidi extended his knowledge and skill and quickly distinguished himself through his innovative solos and technical virtuosity.
Bassidi leads his multi-instrumental percussion and dance troupe, Bwazan. They are a family group; brothers, sisters, cousins and uncles from the same family line. Bassidi formed Bwazan in 2005. As ambassadors of their musical heritage they promote a message of peace, freedom, humility, and solidarity.
Bassidi tours internationally and collaborates with internationally diverse ensemble groups and organisations such as Multicultural Arts Victoria, The
Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). This year will has been asked to present a clinic performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC16) and the incredibly popular Camp Fareta in the U.S.A.
Two years ago when Bassidi last toured to Australia from Bamako, West Africa, local business Rhythm Culture conducted an East Coast Tour with Bassidi performing with Highlife, former known as the Hayden Hack Infusion. This year Rhythm Culture will be hosting Bassidi Kone on the Sunshine Coast and will be celebrating with a community friendly Afro Foli Festival where Bassidi will teach and perform his wonderous balaphon and djembe skills for all to see and experience.
Local drummer and teacher Nathaniel Combs considers Bassidi as not only his teacher but also a very good friend. Nathaniel will be an Australian representative for the not-for-profit association that Bassidi and his group Bwazan are creating to support Bwazan’s newly formed Music and Culture Association based in Bamako,Mali. Among their ambitious goals is to build a music school for the street children of Bamako.
Nathaniel is extremely excited to be spending time with Bassidi and his wife Freya, who also lives and teaches school children in West Africa.
“I will be indulging in many private lessons whilst I have him here. It’s been a few years since I’ve visited Bassidi in Bamako, West Africa and I’m looking forward to playing with him again” , said Nathaniel Combs.
Bassidi Kone will be performing alongside local band, Highlife, The Rhythm Culture Showcase and providing West African drumming workshops as part of the Afro Foli Festival in Palmwoods this July 23rd.
For more information on the Afro Foli Festival
Photo: Michael MaCann Photography