Performance: Saliou Cissokho

Saliou Cissokho was born in Casamance, a border region between Senegal/ Gambia, West Africa. He is a born-Jali since his father originates from a famous Griot family, who are said to know the secrets of performing traditional music for several hours, days and nights. The Griots or Jali are experts or bearers of Africa’s important history, rich tradition and cultural heritage, a living heritage that has been passed over orally from generation to generation; from father to son, from mother to daughter over the past 800 years.

Honoring the family traditions, he underwent an intensive training as a Griot or Jali. He learnt from his uncle, not only how to recite stories, sing songs, but also the secrets of family and clan rituals, the power of reciting and making the Kora, which is known as the king of all musical instruments in West Africa. For further learning, Saliou went to the Jalicounda - the “house of Jali - a school or university to learn, study, perform and take training in special rituals, Kora making, and graduated from the Master Griot. Later on he also studied at the University of Sheikh Anton Diop in Senegal. 

Besides having a broad knowledge on the cultural, historical, musical and poetic tradition of the Mande Society, Saliou also speaks several West African languages, such as Mandinka, Wolof, Bambara, Pullar, as well as French, English, Spanish and German. His musical career led him to Barcelona in 2006. Here, Saliou Cissokho founded various music projects and collaborated with international musicians and artists. He played in countless bars, clubs and various festivals, Delta Sound Festival, Barnafrica Festival, Mercé Festival, among others. Since 2012, Saliou Cissokho is living in Hamburg and successfully continues his musical career across Germany and beyond.