His reputation as a guitar player has become almost mythical, combining rock and classical techniques with Malian tunings that make the guitar sound like a kora or ngoni
The New York Times
The biggest pop star of the West African nation of Mali
In his case, the unfamiliarity of the language was no problem, largely because of his communicative manner – kneeling down at the stage edge to interact with the crowd – dancing in unison with his musicians – made such a clear – nonverbal connection with his listeners
The Los Angeles Times
One of Africa’s most popular and recognized musicians, Habib Koité is a modern troubadour with extraordinary appeal because Koité‘s musicianship, wit and wisdom translate across cultures. Hailing from the musically prolific West African nation of Mali, the guitarist and composer has been named the biggest pop star of the region by Rolling Stone. Over the past decade, his artistry and magnetic personality have made him an international star, delighting audiences the world over, and placing him firmly among the leading figures in contemporary world music. Bonnie Raitt proclaims, “first there was Hendrix, then Stevie Ray, and now Habib.” Koité‘s most recent release, Soô (which translates to home) looks squarely at his native land, a country torn apart by violence over the last two years, at a time when a real feeling of home couldn’t be more vital.