Aly Keïta

Aly Keita Photo
Aly Keita, Photo: Jacek Brun

Biography

Aly Keïta (born 1969 in Abidjan) is an Ivorian balafon player.

Meeting Aly Keita is a great opportunity to discover what being “passionate about music” really means. When Aly plays music, he shares his enthusiasm with those around him, with a glimmer of a dream in his eyes. Always smiling, he communicates his joie de vivre and energy to each and every person.

Descended from a family of musicians, Aly Keita grew up surrounded by traditional instruments like the djembe and the kora. But his favorite instrument became the balafon, which he made with his own hands as a young man, and which he has played ever since.

He earned worldwide renowned for his mastery of the balafon. While rooted in tradition, Keita's Afro-pop, funk-fueled rhythm section and taste for complex jazz-oriented arrangements set him far apart from most balafonists.

The way he plays is just spectacular. The sticks in his hands seem to dance on the wooden keys of the instrument. He played alongside with artists like Joe Zawinul, Amadou & Mariam, Pharoah Sanders or Rhoda Scott and has been nominated for the German Jazz Award (category: special instruments) in 2022.

He created the ALY KEITA TRIO with the Dutch master on drums Marcel van Cleef and the virtuosi and funky bass player Roberto Badoglio from Italy. All 3 musicians are based in Berlin, where they met each other in the jazz scene. They are combining the West African Balafon music with funky, jazzy grooves. 100% danceable or just sit down and listen to these 3 great musicians.

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