Maher Cissoko

Maher Cissoko
Photo: Andreas Unge


From the soloalbum Kora Fo
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  • country:Senegal
  • region:West Africa
  • style(s):Afro-Soul, Manding
  • label:Ajabu!
  • type:Solo, Music Theatre Production
  • gender:male
  • instrumentation:singer songwriter, lute, harp
  • artist submitted by:Jaliya Connection

Line up

  • Maher Cissoko (kora, vocals)


Maher Cissoko was born to be a kora player in one of the greatest Griot families in Casamance, Senegal. His family has seen the art of the griot and kora playing being passed from generation to generation through more than 700 years.

Maher has embellished the tradition and developed his own explosive and danceable style. Besides playing the kora, he is also a percussionist, which you can hear in his rhythmical way of playing the kora. He plays various West African percussion instruments, such as Calabash, Djembe and Tama (Talking Drum). Maher has been playing in different bands and is influenced by styles and techniques of other musical genres like reggae, latin, funk and jazz.

He has also been touring around festivals such as Womad and Glastonbury with his brother Solo Cissokho and the family band Jalikunda Cissokho with Seckou Keita. Like his older brothers Solo and Fily Cissokho (yes they spell their names differently), he's now a full time musician in Europe and a former student of the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.

Together with Sousou Cissoko, he has released 3 albums and have been touring in 30 countriels like: USA, Kanada, South Korea, Scandinavia, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa performing at festivals like Gwanju World Music Festival, Sauti Za Busara in Zanzibar, Peace & Love Festival in Sweden, Festival Sur Le Niger in Mali and supporting artists like Toumani Diabate and Amadou & Mariam. Maher has also performed several times in Swedish and Senegalese National Television and Radio.

Maher Cissoko is also working as a composer and has composed all the music on his latest album Kora Fo. The previous albums with Sousou & Maher Cissoko also consists of mostly self composed music.

He is happy to collaborate and create music in different projects, here are some of his previous work as a composer:

Part of the House of Songs International Songwriting Summit in Austin, Texas 2017

Together with Sousou Cissoko he composed the music for Teater 23's very appreciated play "Pici & Oso".

Together with Andreas Unge he composed parts of the music to the movie "Medan Vi Lever",
and the documentary "Taxi Sister"

Awarded Newcomer of the Year 2010, Band Of The Year Nominee 2011 and Album Of The Year Nominee 2012 in Sweden’s World Music Award.
Awarded a STIM (BMI) -scholarship for his work as a composer 2011 and 2014 and by SKAP 2015.
Maher has also been supported by the Swedish Arts Council and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee for his high quality work for several years.
2012 he was awarded City of Stockholms Cultural Scholarship