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    Salif Keita

    8/25/1949

    Salif Keita

    Biography

    Salif Keïta, born August 25, 1949 in Djoliba (Mali), is a Malian singer and musician. He is the father of the French athlete Nantenin Keïta, specialist in the 400 meters and double Paralympic champion. Salif Keïta is a descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keïta. Suffering from albinism, he dreams of becoming a teacher but is rejected because of his poor eyesight. He then decides to become a singer, traditionally, music is reserved for the griot caste, and the Keïta are a family of princes. He was rejected by his family and left for Bamako in 1968. He joined saxophonist Tidiani Koné's group, the "Rail Band De Bamako". Then in 1973, he joined the group "Les Ambassadeurs", then he moved to Abidjan, Ivory Coast. In 1978, he recorded his first album "Mandjou" there. In 1980, he recorded two records in the United States: "Primpin" and "Tounkan". In 1984, he left Abidjan to return to Bamako with his family. This year he is participating in the Angoulême mixed music festival. He met with success with the French public, and came to settle in France in Montreuil. The following year, he participated in the recording of a collective album Tam tam pour l'Afrique for the benefit of Ethiopia. In 1986, he recorded the album, "Soro", which propelled Salif Keita onto the international scene. Salif Keita took part in the "Liberate Mandela" concert at the Fête de l'Humanité in 1985. He also took part in the Francofolies festival in La Rochelle in 1987, and in a concert organized in London for Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday. In 1989 he released his second album in France, “Ko-Yan”. His third album "Amen" was released in June 1991. His album Folon from 1995 is dedicated to albino children for whom he created an association. In 1996 he opened a recording studio in Bamako to help young Malian musicians. In 1997, he released an album "Sosie" composed of titles by French singers (Maxime Le Forestier, Michel Berger, Jacques Higelin and Serge Gainsbourg) performed on the kora or balafon. In June 1999, he released a new album entitled "Papa" where he evokes his father, who died two years earlier. In 2001, he opened a club coupled with a recording studio named Moffou, the name of a flute used by shepherd children. In March 2002, an album of the same name was released. On December 12, 2004, in Johannesburg, South Africa, he was honored at the Kora Awards for his entire career. Salif Keïta is a candidate in the Malian legislative elections of 2007. During the Victoires de la musique 2010 ceremony in March 2010, he won a victory in the “World music album of the year” category. On July 19, 2010, Salif Keïta was appointed Ambassador of Peace by Jean Ping, President of the African Union Commission. In 2014, he participated in the Esperanzah world music festival, as guest of honor. Salif Keïta attacks Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on November 15, 2019, and claims that jihadists in Mali are armed and financed by France. On December 5, 2020, he became a member of the National Transition Council of Mali. In August 2023, he was appointed advisor to the head of the junta by Colonel Assimi Goïta.

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    Salif Keita

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