Mike Block and Balla Kouyaté have been collaborating for over a decade, bonding over their shared interest in music from across the world, and their commitment to innovating on their instruments. Balla Kouyaté, a balafon player and singer coming out of the Djeli tradition of Mali, was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the NEA. Today, the first balafon, over 1,000 years old, remains in the Kouyaté family. Mike Block is an American cellist, singer, and composer, and a Grammy Award-winning musician with the Silkroad Ensemble originally trained in western classical music.
Musicians: Balla Kouyaté – balafon, vocals | Mike Block – cello, vocals | Sidy Maiga – djembe, vocals | Idrissa Kone – percussion, vocals | Luke Okerlund – guitars