Mamar Kassey
Credit : Eric Legret


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Line up

  • Abdoulkarimou Mamadou N'Diaye (bass guitar)
  • Abdourahamane Albarka Bombou (guitar)
  • Boubacar Souleymane (vocals, calabash)
  • Fatoumata Amadou  (vocals, dancer)
  • Ousmane Abdou (kalangou)
  • Seyni Halidou (molo, komsa )
  • Yacouba Moumouni (vocals, flute, kamele n'goni)


The warm, lived-in voice of Yacouba Moumouni soars gracefully above the rolling rhythms woven by the band; 3-string molo lute, calabasse and kalangou drum effortlessly interleave with electric guitar and bass, the female chorus responds, Yacouba picks up his flute and leads everyone to the banks of the Niger. The band Mamar Kassey – named after the ancestor who extended the Songhai empire into the Sahara - was formed in 1995 by Yacouba Moumouni (aka Denké Denké), becoming popular throughout West Africa, while their 2002 album, Alatoumi, brought international attention. Yacouba put the band on hold to travel to France and work with Breton flautist Jean-Luc Thomas, returning to Niger in 2008 to form a revitalized Mamar Kassey. Wassalou and Saharan influences merge at the borders between the ancestral hogon masters and the interconnected now.