Balla Tounkara and Groupe Spirit
Balla Tounkara, a griot and master kora player from Mali, West Africa, is one of the hottest artists on America’s World Music scene. Fresh off a West coast tour, he and his band, Groupe Spirit have been bringing a spicy, eclectic blend of African, Latin, Funk, Reggae and Blues musical styles to enthusiastic audiences across the country. Regularly performing in Boston and New York City, they’re burning it up everywhere!
Balla has played with a host of world reknowned musical artist, including: Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita, Jimmy Cliff, Baba Maal, Super Rail Band with Djelimady Tounkara, Ali Farka Toure, Oumou Sangare, Ami Koita, Toumani Diabate, Kine Lam, Adboulaye Diabate, Kandia Kouyate, Habibe Koite, T.J. Wheeler, John Sinclair and others. Past performances range from Good Morning America and the American Blues Festival in the States to Radio France Internationale and Staeium Mamadou Konate abroad. Speaking out on important, pressing social issues such as AIDS and violence he is raising awareness and moving feet and souls along the way!
In 2002 the bank was nominated as Outstanding World Music Act at the Boston Music Awares, and has had the track Le Monde est Fou from their CD “Be Right” included on Putumayo World Music’s newest compilation called “From Congo to Cuba.” The Spirit is soaring – Catch it!
“The music is multicultural, powerful and strikingly original”
– David Wildman, Boston Globe
“Whether it’s funky kora blues, driving soukous-tinged Afropop, or innovative covers of Afropop hits, the group command attention and respect”
Banning Eyre, Boston Phoenix