Ballaké Sissoko

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ballaké Sissoko
Sissoko (left) performing with 3MA during a concert in Cartagena, Spain.
Sissoko (left) performing with 3MA during a concert in Cartagena, Spain.
Background information
LabelsIndigo Records, Six Degrees Records
Associated actsMande Tabolo

Ballaké Sissoko (born 1968) is a Malian player of the kora. He has worked with Toumani Diabaté and Taj Mahal, and is a member of the group 3MA with Driss El Maloumi and Rajery.


Ballaké's father, Djelimady Sissoko, was a notable musician in his own right.[1] Sissoko started playing music at a young age, as most born into the griot caste do.[2] He played in the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali, and then with several prominent female singers before coming to fame through his duet with Toumani Diabaté in 1999.[3] In 2000, he formed the trio Mande Tabolo with an n'goni player and a balafon player.

His 2005 album, Tomora, features Toumani Diabaté on kora, singers Alboulkadri Barry and Rokia Traoré and Fanga Diawara, violin soloist of the Mali National Instrumental Ensemble.

His record Chamber Music released in October 2009 is the result of a collaboration with Vincent Ségal, a classical cellist known for his work with Bumcello, and was released by French label No Format! and the U.S. label Six Degrees Records.

He released a solo album, At Peace, in 2013. Ségal produced the album and plays on several tracks.

Sissoko's custom-made kora was broken by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2020 when he travelled from New York to Paris.[4]


  • 1998 - Kora Music from Mali KOra-Solo Album (bibiafrica records)
  • 1999 - New Ancient Strings with Toumani Diabaté (Hannibal-Ryko / Harmonia Mundi)
  • 2000 - Déli (Label Bleu/Indigo)
  • 2003 - Diario Mali (Label Ponderosa) with Ludovico Einaudi
  • 2005 - Tomora (Label Bleu/Indigo)
  • 2009 - Chamber Music (No Format!/Six Degrees) with Vincent Segal
  • 2011 - Humbling Tides (Talitres Records / No Format!) with Stranded Horse
  • 2013 - At Peace
  • 2015 - Musique de Nuit (Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal album)


  1. ^ World Music Central
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-11-25. Retrieved 2009-01-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Mali musician Ballake Sissoko claims US customs broke instrument". BBC. 2020-02-06.

External links[edit]