Dudu Kouate

Il Griot di Bergamo e dell'Art Ensemble di Chicago

Mohamadou Kouatè, in arte Dudù, griot figlio di griot, custode e erede di una tradizione millenaria che ha portato in Italia, sbarcando a Messina nel 1988, musicista dalle doti eccezionali, membro stabile dal 2017 dello storico Art Ensemble of Chicago, con cui ha inciso un disco e suonatoi in tutto il mondo. Dudu racconta, soffia, canta, percuote e suona i suoi mille strumenti con i quali ci conduce in un viaggio alla radice dei suoni degli elementi della terra.
Ha suonato a Santiago a Praia per Atlantic Music Expo di Capo Verde e quasi in ogni ancolo del pianeta: dal prestigioso Kennedy Center di Washington (USA) al  Festival di Assilah in Marocco, passando per Australia, Sud America, Russia ecc.
Dudu collabora con Eloisa Manera, Arsene Duevi, Giovanni Falzone, Guido Bombardieri


Mohamadou Kouaté, a.k.a. Dudù, was born in Senegal in 1963. He is a Griot, son of Griots, the heir and custodian of ancient traditions which he brought to Italy when he arrived in Messina (Sicily) in 1988. He is an exceptional musician, permanent member of the historic Art Ensemble of Chicago since 2017. Dudu’ is an incredible story teller and he can sing, play, beat on and blow into thousands of different instruments taking us on a journey to discover the roots of sound. He lives in Bergamo where he has been teaching African percussion, holding workshops, participating and enjoying the ethno jazz scene. He collaborates with renowned musicians such as Arsene Duevi, Pasquale Mirra, Enzo Favata, Eloisa Manera, Massimiliano Milesi and recently he premiered at LAC Lugano alongside with Giovanni Falzone.

Born in Senegal in 1963 by a family of griots, known for being the conservators of the African cultural and musical tradition. After his humanistic studies in his country he left for Europe. He lives in Bergamo (Italy) where he has been teaching African percussions for many years. He holds seminars on the history of traditional African instruments trying to trace the territorial boundaries of the populations and disseminating the African cultural tradition through tales of musical fairy tales.

From 2017 he collaborates on a permanent basis with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. With Art Ensemble of Chicago he did the European Tour in Autumn 2018, recording with them the double CD “We Are On The Edge” (PI Recordings) released on Apr 26th, 2019

Last summer, he has started the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s World Tour in Melbourne (Supersense Festival on Aug 25, 2019) and Chicago (Chicago Jazz Festival on Aug 30, 2019) and with these upcoming venues in October: Rome (IT), Nantes (FR), Stockholm (SUE), The Hague (NED), Porto (PT), Vilnius (LIT), Istanbul (TK), Skopje (MK). They will be in London (Nov. 23th), Washington DC (Dec 14th).

Multi-instrumentalist musician, plays in different musical groups and not only. He plays Afro-jazz, modern, traditional and contemporary music. The constant search for sound (sound of elements), always pushes him towards new and interesting experiences in the world of music. Recognized validator of traditional instruments and especially percussion, he managed to find their insertion within diversified musical contexts. Thanks to that, on July 10th, 2019 he played at the at the 41st Assilah International Cultural Moussem and at the Atlantic Music Expo 2019 held in Capo Verde last spring.

In 2018 he released the album “Africation” in which Dudù plays the role assigned to him by tradition and makes him re-live in a modern and multicultural way: the songs are mainly sung in his mother tongue, Wolof, with some reference to Bambarà phrases in French and Italian, and express an intense emotional charge also thanks to the use of new and original sounds. Since last year he collaborates

con Eloisa Manera, violino e Daniela Savoldi cello
Africation establishes the full musical maturity and constitutes the first step of a new artistic phase of Dudù Kouatè. Born of a family of griots, the Kouatè, singers in charge of carrying on the traditions and traditional stories of their people.
Dudù interprets the role assigned to him by tradition and makes him re-live in a modern and multicultural key: in fact the songs are mostly sung in his mother tongue, Wolof, with some references to Bambarà and phrases in French and Italian, and express an intense charge emotional thanks also to the use of new and original sounds.
The Senegalese artist says “I’m born percussionist but over time I have also explored other string and wind instruments. This album stems from a need to start from myself, it is a sort of introspective journey that opens a new phase of my life”.

In addition to the texts of the individual songs, what is striking about Africation is that it is shaped on one symphony of instruments, a polyphony that creates magical and reminiscent atmospheres: from the Berber lute (xalam) to kanjira, from djembè to traditional African wind instruments and to the didgeridoo which symbolically they kidnap the listener bringing him to an unexplored and involving dimension.

Linked to the need to explore culturally distant worlds, the African one and the European one, in this Dudù project avails itself of the collaboration of two young musicians. The violinist Eloisa Manera e the cello player Daniela Savoldi to create a special alchemy between African origins and instruments European classics. The trio takes the listener by the hand and with his look accompanies him on a virtual journey into the African sounds reworked with style and originality: changing rhythms and harmonies take flight to emotions.

This perspective makes it possible to see, almost ideally, the suburbs of Dakar, natural landscapes, the savannah, the desert, the villages and the stories of humanity.





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