Oran Etkin & Abdoulaye Diabate Duo
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Oran Etkin and Abdoulaye Diabate have been collaborating since 2003. Diabate sings on Etkin's internationally acclaimed album, Kelenia (Motema Music), which has been hailed as "Ebullient" by the New York Times, "Hypnotic" by the Boston Globe and All Music Guide has declared that Kelenia"sets a new standard for world music in the decade of the 2000s". The CD, which incorporates Malian, Jewish and jazz influences, won "Best World Beat Album" at the Independent Music Awards!
Etkin and Diabate often perform music from Kelenia as a duo, at times also expanding the group to a trio with the addition of a percussionist. This small-group setting offers a unique take on the repertoire that was recorded on Kelenia, shining a spotlight on the intimate interactions of Etkin and Diabate as they interweave their melodic lines freely and spontaneously.
Oran Ektin has been described as a "great clarinet player" and "an excellent improviser" by the New York Times' jazz critic Ben Ratliff and a "woodwind maestro" by PRI's internationally syndicated show, Afropop Worldwide. In his travels to Mali, Oran had the opportunity to play for the Chief of all Griots and sit in with some of the region's most respected musicians, including Toumani Diabate, Habib Koite and the Super Rail Band. He has performed around the world with musicians ranging from jazz guitarist Mike Stern to rapper Wyclef Jean.
Abdoulaye was born in in 1956 in Kela, Mali, to the Diabate family, a renowned name in traditional circles. In 1973 he joined the Tenetemba Jazz in Bamako, Mali. Then, he became the lead singer of the Koule Star Band of Kouchala. In 1975 he moved to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire where he formed his own twelve piece band, Super Mande. In this band some of the greatest luminaries of West African music circulated as members : Salif Keita, Mory Kante, Kante Manfila, Ousmane Kouyate and many more. In 1992, Abdoulaye joined the world reknowned Ballets Koteba led by Souleymane Koli as a singer and guitarist . He performed one of the main character roles in the African opera Waramba at the Atlanta Olympic games in 1996. He also toured the world with Les Go de Koteba in the mid-nineties. Since coming to America he has been an active member of the New York and East Coast African music scene as a free-lance singer/guitarist.