Toumani Diabate is acknowledged to be the foremost kora player in the world. The kora is a 21-string harp-lute instrument that has been played in Africa for centuries. It was the signature of the medieval Mandingo Empire, which populated West Africa from the 13th to the 16th centuries.
Diabate has brought the kora to pop music, African orchestras, flamenco, jazz, and the blues. But his latest album, “The Mande Variations,” features the instrument solo.
Toumani Diabate comes from a long line of kora-playing griots