Moussa Diakite is a guitarist, singer and composer born in Mali, now based in Western Sydney. His style is derived from the “Wassoulou” style of music from Bougouni area of Mali, fused with elements of Malian, Congolese, Highlife, Afro Beat, Cuban, Blues,and Jazz.
Moussa Diakite spent his foundational years in the iconic Afro-Latin “Rail Band” (also known as The Super Rail Band) from 1979 to 1983. They were one of the first bands to combine elements of Cuban and Congolese Jazz with West African rhythms, melodies and instrumentation like the Kora and the Belafon. Moussa Diakite played with Grammy Award-winning Kora player, Toumani Diabate, and his live band from 1983 to 1987 in Mali before joining Salif Kieta’s live band and joining him on multiple World Tours between 1990 – 1995.
Since moving to Australia in 1996, he has played with leading West African bands including Senegal and Guinean inspired band, Keyin Ba, and his own bands: Badema and Wassado. Moussa’s current band Wassado features Junior Jones, Len Samperi, Phillipe Lincy and Patricia Alvarez. Moussa Diakite & Wassado, have played many Australian festivals, including Womadelaide 2018, Darwin Festival 2013 and, in 2019, we played at Bellingen Festival, Mullum Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and Illawarra Folk Festival.
Moussa Diakite’s forthcoming album Kanafo is a collection of new compositions by Moussa Diakite featuring his band Wassado and collaborations with Stu Fergie (OKA), Ollie McGill (The Cat Empire). and Malian instrumentalists Bassidi Kone, Bassekou Koyate and Djelimada Toungara.
Kanafo, the album title, alludes to sharing secrets and forging relationships through revealing knowledge. The album combines both traditional and modern instruments in a bid to bridge the gap between past and present.
Kanafo is set for release late 2020 through Big Village Records / Wassa Records. The album was made possible by funding from Australia Council for the Arts, and Create NSW.
CIVIC UNDERGROUND :: SATURDAY MAY 1
“an A-list axeman in West Africa, performing in seminal collectives such as the Super Rail Band and as sideman to legendary compatriots Salif Keita and Toumani Diabate. His unique Malian-styled guitar playing — informed by the Wassoulou traditions of the country’s southwest — has since been influential in the development of Australia’s African music scene, via Badema, Keyim Ba, Chosani Afrique and similar bands” – Tony Hillier
— The Australian, Album Review – Doncomodja, Oct 2016.