Mamadou Diabate & Bekadiya

Mamadou Diabate & Bekadiya
Fatoumata Dembele in Vienna
The group Bekadiya


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  • country:Burkina Faso
  • region:West Africa
  • style(s):Afro, Jazz
  • label:not signed
  • type:Band
  • instrumentation:instrumental, vocal
  • artist posted by:Mamadou Diabate

Line up

  • Christian Grobauer (drums)
  • Fatoumata Dembele (vocals)
  • Karim Sanou (djembe, calebasse)
  • Mamadou Diabate (balafon, ngoni, talking drum, vocal)
  • Mario Vavti (trombone)
  • Matija Schellander (E-bass)
  • Thomas Berghammer (trumpet, flugelhorn)


The apparently conflicting musical styles of the American/European jazz and traditional West African music - meet here in artful fashion and show how harmonious and powerful these worlds are intertwined, complement each other and bear down cultural boundaries with ease and fun...

The most striking feature of Bekadiya's music is, perhaps, the rich ornamented virtuous balafon (xylophone) solo. You could say that it speaks. Indeed, what you might consider to be beautiful music is in reality the spoken language of Mamadou's people, the Sambla, transposed into music. This impressive balafon music is accompanied by jazzy harmonies and powerful grooves.

The brass with their virtuosic line play an important role in the music of Bekadiya while interacting with the expressive voice of an African chanteuse in an unusual form.


"... a real cross-over of cultures. None of the partners will lose its identity. The cultures don't merge; they complement each other. The music is beautiful, supported by an incomparable power generated mainly through the sound of the balafon embedded in European rhythmic patterns. A wonderful gift...." (Serge Taffou in the Wiener Zeitung)

"The result is a vibrant concoction of beautiful melody lines driven by echoic balafon soli and a combination of sound-cultures at the highest level. The bridge construction between Western and traditional West African music is at any rate perfectly succeeded.." (Manfred Horak in the Jazz Zeit)

CD: Sira Fila (Extraplatte, EX 610-2)