Music Articles From

Back to articles index | Home |

YAYA DIALLO Musician/Author from Mali, West Africa
Elder Yaya Diallo shares his music, experience and insights.

Musician – Composer – Dancer – Healer

Teacher – Lecturer – Storyteller

Guide to Mali: “Healing Drum Tours”

Native of Mali, West Africa

“The Healing Drum: African Wisdom Teachings”
“At the Threshold of the African Soul”

Yaya Diallo, a native of Mali West Africa, is the embodiment of a
country renowned for its rich musical culture. Inspired by his
intimate experience in traditional village life Yaya expresses his
profound knowledge of West African healing arts in his instrumental
album Nangapè of West African drumming, balafon and flute music.
Yaya Diallo’s albums The Healing Drum, Dounoukan and Dombáa
Folee offer ceremonial, ritual and Minianka medicine music of Mali.

Live at Club Soda, Yaya Diallo's forthcoming album, recorded in
performance with his band Kanza takes a dramatic shift as Yaya
bridges traditional music with occidental sounds including saxophone,
electric violin, bass and lead guitars and drum set as well as voice,
traditional African drums and balafon. Yaya Diallo’s innovative
music gives solo voice to all the instruments within an African
rhythmic structure and swings with a sound reminiscent of 1950’s
rock-n-roll and blues to a beat driven and spoken to by the Dounouba
and Djembe drums.

Yaya Diallo says music is as important as the blood in his veins--the
essence of the African soul. He writes, “Playing music to benefit
people was the fundamental value of our musical culture…. At
present we are witnessing the massacre of the African culture….
The old initiators no longer have young people to educate…. adoptive
religion had as its objective the killing of the last savage and they
have shouted ‘mission accomplished!’ I doubt that it is.”

Following graduation from the University of Montreal and a brief
career as a chemist, Yaya Diallo was co-founder of the music and
dance groups Djembe-Kan and Cléba and a member of the African
Troubadours with the World Music Institute as well as a faculty
member of the Creative Music Studio and the Omega Institute for
Holistic Studies of New York. Yaya Diallo is active with his band
Kanza and continues to teach and perform internationally. Goals
include the creation of traditional African healing centers. Listen
to Yaya Diallo’s music on New Music Canada, Contact Onzou Records, , .


Nangape OZ001:

Nangape is Yaya Diallo's classic 1980 instrumental album of West
African drumming, balafon and flute music reissued on CD in 2002 on
Onzou Records, . Available at CD Baby, .

Dounoukan OZ002:

Yaya Diallo's album Dounoukan shares the music of traditional West
African village ceremonies, rituals and daily activities. This album
is available at CD Baby, and PeaceWork
Music Net, , a global music distributor using CDRs with major regional branches in the USA, UK, France and Ireland and China.

Live at Club Soda OZ003:

Yaya Diallo's forthcoming album, Live at Club Soda, features his band
Kanza with saxophone, electric violin, bass and lead guitars, drum
set and vocals along with traditional West African drums recorded in performance in Montreal, 1989.


Yaya Diallo’s music albums Nangape and Dounoukan and the track “Samba The Trucker” from Live at Club Soda are available for listening on New Music Canada, and Roots Music Canada, .


" ... the album is a delightful exploration of the traditional music
of Mali in general, and of the use of the balafon in particular."
Mike High, "Speaking Their Piece," Cadence--The American Review of
Jazz & Blues. May 1982, p. 35.

" ... Yaya Diallo, who hails from Mali, and whose congas, balafon,
tama and dounouba capture West African 4/4 and 6/8 in so lively and
listenable a manner it is hard to resist them."
Down Beat, April, 1983.

" ... If you are interested in the African healing arts and the
sounds used, this is the CD you should have in your library. NANGAPE
is a great expression of Yaya Diallo's cultural heritage."
Lee Prosser, , 2002.

" ... Nangape, a timeless classic in its own right, holds the
primitive sounds of drums intermingling with the progressive and
soothing sounds of flutes that encapsulate you in a world of inner
peace.... tranquil, peaceful and utterly awing ... this album
completely blew me away and that's coming from a person that listens
to industrial/electronic based metal and glitch-prone digital
Wednesday Elektra, Space Junkies Magazine, Vol. 2, 2002.

" ... a gem of West African music highlighting Diallo's skill at
dounouba, tama, and conga as well as djembe and balafon."
Scott Allan Stevens, Victory Review: Acoustic Music Review Magazine,
Vol. 27, No. 7, July, 2002.

"... thank You so much for kind letter and fantastic brilliant CD!!!
Incredibly bright powerful impression! We were glad and proud touch
creation of such distinguished artist as Yaya Diallo. It really was
invaluable important discovery for us. Much friendly love from
Serge Tikhanoff, Radio Penquin, Siberia, Russia, Onzou Records email,
July 21, 2002.

"Traditions and proud! With this two words I can describe the music
by "YAYA DIALLO." You can feel the spirit of Africa. Nice drumming,
percussions and flute. This artist really needs to be heard by many
Ljubo, Bulgaria, 2002-09-24. Source: Reviews,

"I love your "Nangape" CD so much ... yours is one of the best I've
ever heard."
Derek Sivers, President, CD Baby, . Onzou Records
email, Sept. 25, 2002.

"The traditional rhythms of Africa are both medicinal and sacred,
this is just a fact of life."
Allen L. Johnston, "The Music Specialist," Onzou Records email, Nov.
22, 2002.

"VERY cool! Africa is THE mothercountry of rhythm 'n music!! ..."
Lord Litter, host of Lord Litter's Radio Show,
Onzou Records email, Jan. 9, 2003.

"You are VERY welcome!! ... 'specially releases like Yaya Daillo's
are a wonderful example of *true-non-fashion-music* .. *just*
music!! .. and - well - I just LOVE African sounds!!"
Lord Litter, host of Lord Litter's Radio Show,
Onzou Records email, March 25, 2003.

"We have only had a chance to listen through once this morning but
already realize what a beautiful album "Nangape" is."
Tim & Terri~B, Stone Premonitions, England, Onzou Records email, Feb. 10,

"The Yaya Diallo album is a masterpiece."
Gary Lee, Radio show host, THE OVERFLOW, Radio Caroline, Onzou Records email, Feb. 23, 2003.

“YAYA DIALLO Musician/Author from Mali, West Africa” is available on Mi2N:


Stephen Conroy, Producer/Manager
Yaya Diallo’s West African Music
Onzou Records,
Tel: 1-250-383-2403

Back to articles index

Copyright © 2001 Galaris LLC. All rights reserved.