Moussa Diallo

Once Upon A Time in Mali

Music and stories

Buy Moussa Diallo's music and african stories


About Moussa Diallo (biography)

Bass player, singer and composer. Born February 17th 1955 in Paris, France. Brought up in Bamako, Mali and currently residing in Copenhagen, Denmark

In 1974, when fusion between western and traditional African music was still just a wish to be fulfilled, a young man from Mali found himself in Copenhagen with an electric bass. Moussa Diallo had left his native country to seek out possibilities in the far north. The oldest son of a Danish mother and a Malian father had already earned his first musical experiences playing in various bands in Mali.

The Danish music scene

Moussa with SneakersOn his arrival in Denmark the young bass player immediately captured the attention of the established Danish rock scene with his fierce, grooving and always convincing approach to his instrument. Throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s Moussa Diallo set fire to prominent Danish rock/fusion bands like Skunk Funk, Sneakers, Savage Rose and many others. He was also the leading rhythmical force when famed singer Anne Linnet formed her revolutionary band Marquis de Sade in 1983. Moussa Diallo was for 15 years an indispensable member of renown Danish singer/composer Hanne Boel’s group on stage as well as in the studio.

Visions and influence

Besides being a prominent member of the said bands, Moussa Diallo generously shared his musical visions with other musicians, bass players in particular, helping them become skilled in basic rhythms and contrapuntal within the beat. During his early years as a musician Moussa Diallo played by sense and feel - written music has never been his cup of tea, but he has a rare gift of being able to define the heart of the music and put his feel into it. Moussa Diallo’s playing is always recognizable, his lines fit the music like a glove and his powerful groove provides any format with raw energy and a complete understanding of the basic elements in the music.

Moussa Diallo has influenced many Danish bass players. He is an extremely respected and admired music personality of the Danish music scene, not only because of his achievements as a musician, but also because of the human warmth and gentleness that he projects.

Solo albums

Moussa Diallo has released a number of solo albums, all of them showing his diversified approach to music. Already in the albums "Diallo" (1992) and "Amora" (1997) you can clearly sense his African roots in the music. But you also hear influences from artists like James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Prince. But above all, you have the opportunity to listen to a great bass player laying down the grooves combining sincere feelings with sublime musicianship.

The KinkÉliba Project

Since 1998 Moussa Diallo has concentrated on performing and recording his own compositions with a stronger focus on the African sounds. He brought together some of the very best West African artists currently living in Denmark with some of the country’s top musicians launching "The Kinkéliba Project". This diverse constellation musically reflects the cosmopolitan reality of today and challenges cultural traditions in music by creating a significant new sound.

A live version of the Kinkèliba Project was released Live at Copenhagen Jazzhouse (2001) and the album "Chiwara" in 2002. Chiwara earned Moussa a Danish World Music Award for best CD.

In 2001 Moussa made a documentary film about going back to his roots in Mali, together with filmmaker Robert Grant Larsen. The film is a musical meeting between Moussa and Malian musicians like Toumani Diabaté, Habib Koite, Amadou & Mariam and many more. The film "Kinkéliba - A Musical Journey" has been shown on both Danish and French TV. An English version of the film is also available.

The aim of "The Kinkéliba Project" was to invite soloists from different cultural backgrounds, leading to an experience where musical communication knows no boundaries. An example was the concert at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival at Tivoli in July 2000, which was a joint venture between Moussa Diallo and the internationally renown Danish trumpet player Palle Mikkelborg. At this occasion the English born harpist Helen Davies also joined the project.

Diallo's 7th release "Reflections" (2005) features four compositions by Moussa Diallo with prominent guest artists and was composed for an art exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark..

Concerts and story telling for Children

The songs on the album "Chiwara" were inspired by the African story-telling tradition and the stories of Moussa Diallo's own father in particular. Moussa himself is also a great story teller and he especially enjoys the young audience. In several different constellations and projects he has toured schools in the Scandinavian countries with his songs and an entertaining show.

In 2004 the album "Once Upon a time in Mali" was released with 12 African storytelling songs. It was published in Danish together with a colourful book with stories, recipes and games ...all for children. The book is illustrated by Dominique Jal. English, French and Greek versions of the CD are digitally available on iTunes. The French and English version of the book are awaiting distribution.

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