Kouyate's band Ngoni
Ba consists of four ngonis
including a bass instrument, two percussionists, and vocals by Kouyate's wife Amy Sacko.
Utilising three ngonis and two incredible percussionists, the band created a spiralling, dense wall of almost psychedelic noise that ebbed and flowed throughout their set.
Sidi Toure, Tamikrest and main man Bassekou Kouyate's incredible Ngoni Ba all gave different examples of Mali's diverse sounds, but were united in their use of the ngoni – a cricket–bat–shaped instrument that was a precursor of the banjo – allowing for some truly jaw–dropping displays of virtuoso finger–picking.
It proves very quickly that his quintet is something special as the four differentlypitched ngonis - Ngoni Ba actually means low ngoni, or bass ngoni - are augmented by the impressive vocals of Kouyate's wife, Amy Sacko, plus contributions by a guest list which includes Toumani Diabate (kora) and Vieux Farka Toure (Ali's son) on electric guitar.
Starting with Africa - Mali to be precise -the musician is Bassekou Kouyate and his chosen instrument is the ngoni which visually resembles a hollow, long-handled cricket bat.
The sound, however, will bowl you over, especially when heard in the context of his excellent band, Ngoni Ba.
Kouyate, the son of musicians, took to the ngoni - an early forerunner of the banjo - as a child in the small town of Garana, on the Niger river and he was playing regularly by the age of 12.
Ethnic groups: Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni
, Ngonde, Asian, European.
He is one of the true masters of the ngoni and Segu Blue is a tour de force of this instrument, sometimes described as a West African lute.
He was raised in a traditional musical environment, his mother a praise singer and his father and brothers both exceptional ngoni players.
Moreover, Bassekou was one of the key musicians on Ali Farka Toure's posthumous album Savane and when on tour with him he left a lasting impression on audiences as the band's solo ngoni player.
But for his debut album, Bassekou has put together Mali's first ngoni quartet, Ngoni ba--meaning "the big ngoni"--that includes Oumar Barou Kouyate, Moussa Bah and Andra Kouyate.