Kimi Djabaté was raised in Tabato, Guinea-Bissau, a village known for its griots, hereditary singer-poets whose songs of praise and tales of history and legends play an essential role in Africa’s musical life. Djabaté was born into a poor but musically accomplished family in Tabato on January 20, 1975. His parents, two brothers and his sister were all professional musicians. Recognized as a prodigy, Djabaté began playing the balafón, the African xylophone, when he was just three years old and soon after learned to play many other traditional instruments. As his musicianship developed, Djabaté also mastered the kora and guitar, as well as a wide variety of traditional drums and other percussion instruments.
After over fifteen years in Europe, Djabaté still remains devoted to the music he grew up with in Guinea-Bissau, although he brings elements of his own influences and experiences to forge a unique and personal sound. Djabaté has collaborated with many exceptional musicians, including Mory Kanté, Waldemar Bastos, Netos de Gumbé and others. His upcoming album “Dindin” will be released soon on the Cumbancha record label.