Andra Kouyaté

Musicien, compositeur, chanteur, arrangeur (Mali)

Andra Kouyaté est LE musicien spécialiste du n,goni. Par sa créativité impressionnante, il nous montre que les instruments traditionnels peuvent êtres exploités sans limites vers des courants musicaux les plus différents : (jazz-reggae-world). Sa manière d’aborder la musique, sa sensibilité artistique, son charisme personnel ainsi que sa puissance et technique de jeu font de lui un virtuose multi-instrumentiste. Il joue avec Tiken Jah Fakoly et Deltas et avec son propre groupe de musique traditionnelle du Mali entre deux concerts.


PNG - 674.3 ko

Compositeur, auteur, arrangeur et interprète, Andra Kouyaté invente et adapte des instruments traditionnels, sur des inspirations jazz, blues, reggae et funk. Sa maîtrise exemplaire de l’instrument et sa sensibilité artistique exceptionnelle l’ont amené très vite à se faire un nom avec les plus grands artistes de la scène world.

Andra fait partie d’une grande famille de griots au Mali. En 1997, il se joint à deux groupes, l’un de Fantani Touré, avec qui il à enregistré l’album ‘N’TIN NAARI’ et avec Rokia Traoré avec qui il participe sur les trois albums ‘MOUNEÏSSA’, ‘WANITA’ et ‘BOWMBOI’. Il tourne avec Rokia Traoré durant huit ans. Pendant la même période Andra Kouyaté joue aussi régulièrement avec Toumani Diabaté et Ali Farka Touré. En 2005 Andra crée le groupe ‘NGONI BA’ avec son frère Bassekou Kouyaté. Ils enregistrent l’album ‘SEGU BLUE’ et ils entament des tournées triomphales à travers le Monde. Andra participe sur l’album ‘AFRIKI’ d’Habib Koité et l’album ‘RED EARTH’ de Dee Dee Bridgewater. Christophe Minck l’appelle pour l’album ‘KIRIKOU ET KARABA’ dirigé par Michel Ocelot. Andra contribue aux albums : ‘SEYA’ d’Oumou Sangaré, ‘ALU MAYÉ’ de Leni Stern, ‘AFRICAN REVOLUTION’ de Tiken Jah Fakoly et ‘CINÉMA EL MUNDO’ de Lo’Jo. En 2007 Andra Kouyaté, Andreas Fulgosi et Baba Konaté forment un groupe appelé Raaga Trio qui est une rencontre passionnante entre la musique traditionnelle de l’Afrique occidentale et le jazz. En 2012 Andra sort son premier album ‘SARO’ au Mali avec une pléthore de grands artistes de la région, dont Amadou & Mariam, Mah Bara Soumano, Bassekou Kouyaté. En 2013, il intègre le groupe Deltas et enregistre un CD. En 2014 il sort son 1er EP avec son groupe Magic Foly. Actuellement, Andra tourne avec Tiken Jah Fakoly, Deltas.



Andra Kouyate is happy to present his new band : with a funk and groove move, this band also keeps a powerful African touch through complex rhythms, a modern urban feel and all the warm spirit and energy of the Mandingo tradition.
Andra Kouyate composes, writes, arranges and performs : this is for him the way to revisit all his jazz, blues, reggae and funk inspirations on traditional instruments and invent a new language for new instruments.
He quickly made a name for himself next to the greatest World Music artists thanks to his impeccable technique and his own very particular artistic identity.
Andra Kouyate’s joy is to show how traditional instruments can be used without any limitation in the most various music styles.
“Innovative” might be the best word when describing Malian Andra Kouyaté’s approach to music. Kouyaté is an inventor of instruments and musician who isn’t afraid to take the traditional musical foundations and push them into new, contemporary arenas » « Saxonbaird » Afropop.


Traditional Inventiveness : Andra Kouyaté and Sèkè Chi Reveal the Innovative Spirit and Polyglot Funk in Mali’s Deepest Roots. In some musically vibrant corners of the world, innovation is the tradition. Inventing a new version of the ngoni—the precursor to the banjo that can render lightning-fast melodies in skilled hands—Andra took a fresh approach to the traditional instrument, adding the bass sounds he missed to the mix by carefully modifying the n’goni until it achieved a deeper, richer resonance and found the new expressive quality he craved. A relentless rehearser, arranger, and stickler for detail, he thoughtfully incorporates subtle reggae vibes (“Saro,“ “Yereko”) or funk flourishes (“Aye Anflé”) to his deep roots. On his first major international release, Andra and his youthful ensemble Sèkè Chi bring a wide-ranging, aesthetically linked set of songs on Saro (Studio Mali ; July 31, 2012). Saro features contributions by Amadou and Mariam ; by local star Mah Bara Soumano ; by older brother Bassekou Kouyaté ; by respected Malian singer Ami Sacko ; by Harouna Samake the kamele n’goni player for Salif Keita ; and by balafon whiz Lassana Diabaté of the Grammy-winning project AfroCubism. The album reveals Andra’s stunning ability to embrace not only all the musical possibilities of Mali’s many traditions, but also a relentless drive to create and re-imagine the music he loves.

The Rough Guide to the music of Mali

So it is in Mali, where the sounds of the Saharan north have mingled with an array of West African traditions in the south. Musicians like Andra Kouyaté show how his homeland’s deep and diverse roots are a constant source of innovative inspiration.


Deltas invites you on board to share a moment of serenity. Accompanied by Andra Kouyaté (n’goni, n’gont bass) the trio re-invent a new harmony to obtain different colours.

Segu Blue

Features guest musicians Kasse Mady Diabate, Lobi Traore, Lassana Diabate (incidentally, there is no Kora and no djembe on this album) and singers Zoumana Tereta and Bassekou’s wife, Ami Sacko. The album was produced by Lucy Durán, recorded at studio Bogolan in Bamako by Yves Wernert and mixed in London by Jerry Boys (the man responsible for recording and mixing ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ amongst others).

African Revolution

The magic tones of ngoni, kora, soukou (violin with one string) and balafon were familiar to us, butTiken knew how to capture their soul. Five years of exile in Bamako enabled him to penetrate into the talented generation of the Griot sons, such as the player of ngoni Andra Kouyaté, who is growing very successful over there.


Seya (Joy) is the first album in six years from ‘Mali’s Star of Stars’ and it reaffirms her position as one of Africa’s great female vocalists and an African phenomenon.The album was recorded in Bamako, and co-produced by Nick Gold, Oumou Sangare and Cheick Tidiane Seck. Musicians on the album include fellow World Circuit artist and kora virtuoso Toumani Diabaté, the great guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, afrobeat legend Tony Allen, Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun and Magic Malik on flute. Oumou Sangare is the most popular female singer in Mali and alongside Salif Keita she is arguably the country’s most famous musician.

The Other Edge

The Raaga Trio plays a subtle fusion of jazz and traditional West-African music. Made up of four members from different backgrounds, the trio’s music pulls you into deep currents of Mandingue feeling, experimental and Jazzy sounds and sweeps you away with the magnificent n’goni and bass n’goni of Andra Kouyaté, the excellent rhythms of the percussionist Baba Konaté, the harmonious, electric tones of Andreas Fulgosi’s superb guitar work and the powerful dubs on harmonica by Guillaume Lagger. This music is an invitation to embark on a journey through sound, and a chance to experience its positivism, its humanity and its generosity. Listen without mo deration….Raaga Trio’s first album has just been recorded by Renaud Millet-Lacombe at Hush Sound Studio in Switzerland.