N'Faly Kouyate



Home       Search     Leave Feedback     Contact Us




N’faly Kouyaté, a charismatic solo performer with his own Belgian based group Dunyakan (The Voice of the World), is also a core member of the Afro Celt Sound System. N’faly has performed on some of the biggest stages of the world music world, such as Summerstage in NY, Eden Project in the UK (WOMAD), various WOMAD festivals ranging from Reading, WOMAD Singapore, WOMADelaide, etc, also at Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, Dranouter, etc.... With his own band he has also performed at such prestigious festivals as Nuits D’Afrique in Montréal, Couleur Café, Francofolies at Spa, WOMADrid....In upcoming months, N’faly may be performing in South Africa, and also at a number of European festivals. N’faly has also recently been performing with both Urban Trad and with Lalma, a Galician- Belgian group.

N’faly, who as a true griot or traditional storyteller, loves teaching and telling about his culture and the rich world of the Mandingue, and to this end, he has a school in Brussels, Cadence Mandingue. They teach all manner of African music, dance and percussions. With Dunyakan, who consist of French, Belgian, Angolan, Haitian members, N’faly makes his group’s Malinke meaning, the voice of the world, a veritable truth, as they create a true fusion of traditional and modern sounds, based on the mysteries and beauty of Mandingue music. N’faly’s father once told him never to be afraid of new things, but to always embrace them and to be open to all things, and in the less than ten year period since N’faly has settled in Belgium, he has done just that.

In fact, N’faly is joyfully following in the footsteps of his father, seeing his preordained role of Griot as both a responsibility and a means of explaining the beauties of the Manding culture to the rest of the world. Through his performances, he uses music and storytelling as a way to open doors between different peoples and cultures, striving always to tell about his culture while embracing others, with a profound sense of inclusion rather than exclusion, of unity between cultures and finally, our shared humanity. He also has a non-profit with the same goal, Namunkanda (the defence of culture). 

N’faly himself is currrently incorporating classical sounds into his music, with the addition of violins and cellos, and this promises an exciting new sound for him, and is the realization of one of his longstanding dreams. The new music was presented over the summer at several concerts, and on his upcoming CD, Tunya (truth). N’faly’s first CD, Kora Grooves from West Africa (ARC Music) was released to critical acclaim, and as one review said (World Music Central): "Kora Grooves from West Africa…is likewise splendidly tight and traditional-leaning...the entire disc is smashing, a potent piece of work from a master clearly at the top of his game."

N’faly takes to heart the true meaning of griot, as the blood of society, who hold everything together, very seriously. As is often noted in his performances, the more traditional griot may sit and play, but N’faly is more likely to be dancing around stage with it, joyously performing his beloved music, the epitome of the ancient seamlessly fusing with the modern world, totally encapsulated by the music.

Audio Sample from Womad (46 Minutes Streaming)


Copyright © 2005 - 2009
Last modified: 02/23/11