At the conclusion of his latest U.S. tour with the trio 3MA, Sissoko and his kora returned to Paris. When he got home and opened the kora's case, he found the instrument in pieces, along with a note from the TSA.
The TSA told NPR that they didn't even open Sissoko's case, but the musician and his manager object that there's physical evidence that they did. At any rate, Sissoko has to commission a new kora.
To that end, his supporters at No Format!, the record label that has released a number of Sissoko's albums, has set up a GoFundMe page where fans can contribute to Sissoko's trip to Mali and the instrument he intends to commission there.
Right before he left the U.S., Sissoko told Afropop's Banning Eyre about how he had his kora custom built, so it could be played in different keys and also amplified.
“Due to the nature of this instrument, it cannot be reassembled,” the GoFundMe page states. “A new one must be hand crafted, and due to the traditional nature of the kora to be combined with modernity of a speaker for digital amplification.”