Tamala (c: Dieter Telemans)


Auth. Mola Sylla - Comp. Bao Sissoko
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  • country:Senegal
  • style(s):Acoustic, Contemporary
  • label:Muziekpublique
  • type:Trio
  • gender:male
  • instrumentation:vocal, string
  • artist posted by:Muziekpublique

Line up

  • Bao Sissoko (kora, calabash)
  • Mola Sylla (vocals, xalam, kalimba)
  • Wouter Vandenabeele (violin)


A contemporary, acoustic dimension to the West-African tradition.

As its name suggests, the group Tamala ("travelers") explores the limitless possibilities offered by the trio’s instruments and musical backgrounds. Driven by a natural musical bond, Tamala’s musicians strike a balance between tradition and innovation, dream and reality, north and south. Beyond their musical affinities, the musicians also share values that they have decided to defend through their music. Their support for a school in Senegal has earned them the nickname “ambassadors of Ceppe”.

Mola Sylla sings with a power that stems from the heart. The timbre of his gravelly voice makes him one of the most creative Senegalese singers, as witness his long collaboration with the Dutch celliste Ernst Reijsiger, with whom he composed the soundtrack of Werner Herzog’s film The Blue Yonder. Mola Sylla also plays the xalam (West African lute)), kongoma and kalimba (thumbed pianos), as well as percussion. Bao Sissoko is acknowledged throughout Europe as a talented kora-player. A true master of this West African harp, he has not only played alongside the famous Baaba Maal but is also known for his collaboration with Malick Pathé Sow. The Belgian folk violinist Wouter Vandenabeele can still surprise us with his collaborations, each one more daring than the last. After collaborating with the Syrian oud-player Elias Bachoura and taking part in the world-folk big band Olla Vogala, Wouter is now putting his energy into this trio.
The three musicians had already worked together a few years ago on the albums “The music of Issa Sow” and Mami Kanouté’s “Mousso Lou”, but it’s as a trio that the magic of their music becomes truly apparent. Sincerity and serenity flow from each note, like an invitation to let oneself be carried away at the whim of the melodies. The complicity between the violin, the kora and the singing is intoxicating, the dialogue is sustained, and sheer pleasure in playing shines out at every instant. A pleasure that one can’t help sharing.


"Lumba" - Tamala