Habib Koité

IMN representation: Asia, Australia, South America, North America

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Habib Koité is one of Africa’s most popular and recognized musicians. A modern troubador with extraordinary appeal, Koité‘s musicianship, wit and wisdom translate across cultures. Hailing from the musically prolific West African nation of Mali, the guitarist and composer has been named the biggest pop star of the region by Rolling Stone, delighting audiences the world over and selling more than 250,000 albums. Over the past decade, his artistry and magnetic personality have made him an international star, and placed him firmly among the leading figures in contemporary world music. Bonnie Raitt proclaims, “first there was Hendrix, then Stevie Ray, and now Habib.”

His 2014 release, Soô (which translates to home) looks squarely at his native land, a country torn apart by violence over the last two years, at a time when a real feeling of home couldn’t be more vital. Read more about the album here

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His reputation as a guitar player has become almost mythical, combining rock and classical techniques with Malian tunings that make the guitar sound like a kora or ngoni.
The New York Times

The biggest pop star of the West African nation of Mali.
Rolling Stone

In his case, the unfamiliarity of the language was no problem, largely because of his communicative manner – kneeling down at the stage edge to interact with the crowd – dancing in unison with his musicians – made such a clear – nonverbal connection with his listeners.
The Los Angeles Times

Koite’s voracious musical curiosity, broad international fan base, impressive CD sales, and fruitful collaboration with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Eric Bibb and Gary Davis, have made him a prominent global voice.