African Music and Film Events in Portland

Ballaké Sissoko – Tuesday October 24th

Tue, Oct 24th, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Venue: Old Church
The Old Church 1422 S.W. 11th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97201
Ballaké Sissoko (born 1968) is a noted player of the kora. He has worked with Toumani Diabaté and Taj Mahal and several others. He can be heard on Diario Mali. Ballaké’s father, Djelimady Sissoko, was a notable musician in his own right.

HABIB KOITÃ – Friday November 3rd

Soul’d Out + PDX Jazz + Beloved Proudly Present
HABIB KOITÃ with special guests
Fri Nov 3, 2017
9:00 PM (Doors @ 8:00 PM)
Star Theater 
13 NW Sixth Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Habib Koité (BambaraHabib Kuwate, born 1958 in ThièsSenegal) is a solo singer, songwriter and guitarist, based in Mali. His band, Bamada, is a supergroup of West African musicians, which included Kélétigui Diabaté on balafon until his death in 2012.

Koité is known primarily for his unique approach to playing the guitar by tuning it on a pentatonic scale and playing on open strings as one would on a kamalen’goni. Other pieces of his music sound more like the blues or flamenco which are two styles he learned under Khalilou Traore.

Koité’s vocal style is intimate and relaxed, emphasizing calm, moody singing rather than operatic technical prowess. Members of Bamada play talking drum, guitar, bass, drum set, harmonica, violin, calabash, and balafon. Koité composes and arranges all songs, singing in English, French, and Bambara.


KBOO FM – Africa-O-Ye! has a regular program of african music.  Local african events are mentioned – see  for details

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