Madou Sidiki Diabaté is the youngest son of the late Sidiki Diabaté. "The King of the Kora." Since 1997, Madou has filled the position as lead kora for some of the best singers and musicians in West Africa, including Kandia Kouyaté, Ami Koita, Baaba Maal, Salif Keita, Sekouba “Bambino” Diabaté, and many others. He has performed at over 1000 concerts and more than 40 festivals throughout Africa, North America, Europe, and Australia. Madou has collaborated with artists such as Damon Albarn, Will Calhoun, and Brian Eno and continues to redefine the role of Kora in the traditional and modern world.
Salif Bamakora, aka Gordon Hellegers, has been playing Kora for over 20 years and has been a primary student of Madou Sidiki Diabaté for over 15 years. Salif is deeply versed in the traditional repertoire, histories, and cultural practices of Mande Djeliya and has become a skilled and experienced performer in concerts around the world. As a foundational member of the world music group SIMRIT and a periodic collaborator with Estas Tonne, Bamakora continues to explore the growing edges of contemporary kora music, from original composition to spontaneous improvisation concerts.