Amadou Kiénou - CD
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Amadou Kiénou
Sya (Dunya/Felmay)

Amadou Kiénou (djembe, tama and vocal) is from Burkina Faso. Trained from his youth to be a griot, through the rituals and ceremonies that still mark the life of his native village (baptisms, weddings, funerals, sacred rites etc), as a professional he has worked with such artists as Manu Dibango, Youssou N’Dour and Baba Maal. He is a virtuoso of the djembe and a fine traditional singer.

Press from the record label:
Considering that Burkina Faso musician Amadou Kienou hails from a family whose lineage includes several noted practitioners of the craft of the griot, its not surprising that his own music is much more than a mere percussive orgy. Kienou’s musical training took place through the rituals and ceremonies that still mark the life of his native village (baptisms, weddings, funerals, sacred rites etc), an apprenticeship which has served him well in his rise to the professional arena, working with such luminaries of African music as Manu Dibango, Youssou N’Dour and Baba Maal. A virtuoso of the djembé, a drum of ancient provenance carved from a tree trunk left to mature for at least a year, Amadou (who is also no mean vocalist, intoning chants of rare intensity) wrests from his instrument polyrhythms of dizzying complexity, drawing the listener into a whirl of hypnotic, chattering beats.

Burkina Faso is a country with cultural diversity sewn into its DNA. As a territory that is home to sixty different ethnic groups it can be forgiven and perhaps even congratulated for not producing a coherent national musical style. It’s this complex interlock of cultural grids that forms such an essential part of Amadou’s performances. Without forgetting the folkloric heritage of his hometown, natural curiosity cannot help but lead him elsewhere, ears forever on the alert for the new and unpredictable to add to his repertoire. Which is why the tracks of Sya resound with echoes of Wolof or Mossi territory (the Mossi are the ethnic group that accounts for around half the country’s population, and whose culture is a hothouse for would-be griots) adapted to the temperament of the djembé.

Listening to Amadou Kienou’s playing is sure to prove an unforgettable experience not only for percussion heads and others already addicted to African music but also for the floating listener in search of the balm of natural, limpid sounds.


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