Mamadou Diabate is an award winning balafon master and composer born in Burkina Faso and based in Vienna, Austria. He comes from a traditional “Jeli” family of music making andstorytelling of the Sambla peoples. His professional music education began by the young age of5 years. His virtuosity is outstanding-some people say he would have more than two hands. Explicit techniques allow Mamadou to play balafon solos, which create the impression that three balafonists play together.
Since 2001 he has released 13CDs. The CD “Keneya” is the world premiere recording of the traditional balafon music of the Sambla people. This music is in reality the Sambla language translated into music. Musicians, who don’t speak this language can’t play it at all.
Today his unique line up with two balafon upfront as lead instruments characterizes Mamadou Diabate & Percussion Mania. That makes the project the only formation of this kind worldwide, different to all other West African bands. Musical dialogs and spectacular balafon duels between Mamadou and his cousin Yacouba Konate are one of the highlights of the show. Since 2017 he lectures the Sambala Balafon language in various Universities in USA and Canada. Mamadou Diabate extraordinary creativity is a never ending stream of musical creations which are keeping his most special culture and music traditions alive.
It is certain that he will continuously carry on enriching the world with his virtuosity. Mamadou Diabate lives in Vienna, Austria. In 2006 he opened a school in Burkina Faso where currently free education for 600 children is provided.