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© Dieter Telemans

Tamala

BEL, SEN

A contemporary dimension to the West-African tradition

Brosella is very proud to present the brand-new laureates of the Klara award for best Belgian world music album and the Octave de la Musique award for world music. kora-player Bao Sissoko, violinist Wouter Vandenabeele and singer Mola Sylla called their new trio Tamala ('travellers') and as its name suggests, it explores the infinite possibilities of the encounter between the musical backgrounds of the trio's members. Guided by a natural musical alchemy, the musicians of Tamala swing easily between tradition and innovation, strength and subtlety, dream and reality, north and south. Over and above their mutual musical understanding, these musicians also share a set of values that they defend through their music. They support a school in Senegal, hence their nickname “the ambassadors of Ceppe”.

Tamala came about very organically and is primarily a human encounter that makes itself totally alive at a musical level. It is a meeting between three musicians with different backgrounds.

Mola Sylla is one of the great singers in the tradition of Senegalese griotes. His special vocal timbre makes you gasp for the last note. He is accompanied by the virtuoso kora-player Bao Sissoko and the extremely versatile Wouter Vandenabeele on violin. Together they form an intense union that lets the music come straight from the heart.

Bao Sissoko is a member of a family of Senegalese griotes, deeply embedded in the Mandinka tradition. His recognizable way of playing kora, sometimes fine and fragile, sometimes rough and energetic, has made him an authority on the instrument.
In between his many collaborations (Malick Pathe Sow, Baaba Maal, Abou Thiam, Mamy Kanoute, Zap Mama, Vaya Con Dios, Sioen, ...), Bao met the violin of Wouter Vandenabeele (Ambrozijn, Olla Vogala, Chansons sans Paroles, GFVP) for the project "La musique d'Issa Sow". Performing in a duo felt perfectly natural and created a wonderful tension between tradition and improvisation.
As a trio, with Mola Sylla, known for his collaborations with the Dutch cellist Ernst Reijsiger and the Cuban jazz pianist Omar Sosa, this dialogue is pushed even further to a dizzying level. It is therefore not surprising that, after Brosella, they were also invited by the BBC to perform at the prestigious Womad festival.

Bao Sissoko - kora, calabash
Wouter Vandenabeele - violin
Mola Sylla - vocals, hoddu, percussion