Artist Profile: Mamadou and Vanessa

(Music Zeitgeist) Who?

Master kamale ngoni player, Mamadou Sidibe is from the Wassoulou Region of Mali, West Africa. Twenty-five years ago Mamadou played a groundbreaking role in transforming the music of this region from its origins in hunters’ sacred melodies; played on six string donso ngoni (hunter’s harps) to a music of philosophical observations, politics and daily life, Mamadou was one of the first to expand the instrument’s range with two extra strings, creating the popular kamale ngoni.

He has recently enhanced the kamale ngoni even further, by creating 10 and 12 string kamale ngoni. Mamadou, with artists Coumba Sidibe, Oumou Sangare and Ramatu Diakite, spread the new sounds through recordings and performances in Europe, Africa and the United States. Not only is Mamadou a master of the kamale ngoni, he is accomplished on several other African instruments as well.

Vanessa Sidibe, originally from New York, is an accomplished Afro-Cuban and Salsa musician. She has performed, recorded and taught in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City for over fifteen years. She brings earthy depth and ethereal sensuality to all her vocals whether singing in English, Bambara or Spanish. In addition, her time spent in Havana, Cuba, shows with her impeccable rhythm on percussion.

Music from the Wassoulou Region of Mali, West Africa blended with Blues.

It combines our musical roots and passions.

Until when?
As long as we are having a good time!

Mamadou Sidibe – vocals, donso, kamale ngoni
Vanessa Sidibe – vocals, percussion

The new CD is available at

Find out more at:

Listen to Mamadou and Vanessa’s track “Janjon” at

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