We are proud to announce that we have now landed in Canada for our first tour here!

We are very excited to play at the following festivals:

10 July Sunfest, London Ontario
11 July Sunfest, London Ontario
12 July Sunfest, London Ontario
13 July Nuits d’Afrique, Montreal 
14 July Festival d'été de Quebec 
17 July Vancouver Folk Festival
18 July Vancouver Folk Festival 
19 July Vancouver Folk Festival 

USA
21 July Scandinavian House, New York, US
22 July The Shrine, New York, US

For more regular updates check our Facebook and Instagram profiles!

And lots of love and thanks to our supporters: Swedish Arts Council and Swedish Performing Arts Agency.

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In the role of modern griots Sousou & Maher Cissoko plea for peace

Sousou and Maher Cissoko issue a plea to the leaders of Africa and the western world in their third album, Africa Moo Baalu, released in February 2014 on the ARC Music label.

Translating as ‘big people of Africa’ – or ‘Leaders of Africa’ – the album’s title track appeals for world leaders to come together to put an end to suffering and war: “The world needs some changes”, says Maher. “There are many conflicts that have been going on for so many years, from generation to generation. The leaders have the power and hold the possibilities to change.”

To this Swedish/Senegalese pairing – who are partners in life as well as music – messages
such as this are an important part of their music. The songs they create together carry important social messages in the tradition of Maher’s ancestors, the jali or griots of western Africa, the storytellers and political commentators of their day.

Sousou & Maher are modern day proponents of this tradition. “To spread messages like this and to sing to the leaders has been the role of the griots for a long time. We both feel the connection to that mission”, says Sousou. Maher adds, “I was born into a griot family and have a griot background.
I will never lose that. But it's a new generation now and every generation has to find their own way. I can’t be a griot in the same way as my ancestors. But I can be a griot of today. My time is now”.


These ideas are shared in songs such as Malouya: “The art of the jalis will go on forever… Like my mother and like my father, we will continue.”

While the album also deals with other hard-hitting subjects such as poverty, immigration and being away from family, the overlying message is one of peace and love. The album’s opener, Wula – which features some stunning kora playing by Maher – is dedicated to his brother Aliou, who passed away in 2010.

Other songs on Africa Moo Baalu were inspired by their experiences on the journey from Stockholm in Sousou’s home country of Sweden to Dakar in Maher’s Senegal. That journey was documented on their second album Stockholm-Dakar, an album which explored some of the similarities between the music of their respective homelands.

Born into to a musical family, Sousou studied classical and Swedish folk music before falling in love with the kora. It was when she was invited to Senegal by Maher’s older brother Solo to learn their playing style that she met Maher.

While both are of course influenced by the music around them, with Africa Moo Baalu they strive not to be bound by national borders. “It’s not a meeting between Senegalese folk music and Swedish folk music,” says Sousou. “We are working more on finding and developing our own expressions, creating our own songs and finding our own voices. Times change and we are living in a global world now where everything is connected. It is more about your interests, your passion and love rather than the colour of your skin.”

For further information please contact:
Chris Tomsett | ARC Music Productions International
PO Box 111 | East Grinstead | West Sussex | RH19 4FZ | United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1342 328 567 | chris@arcmusic.co.uk

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It was a great honor for us to be part of the Polar Music Prize Cermony in Stockholm City Concert Hall where we were performing two Youssou Ndour songs “Set” and “Boul Bayekou” together with Timbuktu & Damn, Andreas Unge, Dawcoumba Diop, Pape Seck and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

Youssou Ndour and Le Super Etoile were in the audience together with The Royal family of Sweden and big parts of the Swedish music industry.

Here you can watch our performances broadcasted by the Swedish National Television TV4:

SET

BOUL BAYEKOU

Hope you enjoy it!

Thanks to Afraz Art & Design and Polar Music Prize

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Our music video of Jaliya Mouta from the album Stockholm-Dakar recorded in Senegal by
Stefan Erdman has now been viewed in over 99 countries! Stefan Erdman is currently working on a documentary about Sousou & Maher Cissoko.

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Yesterday we had a concert at the Millenium Stage at The John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts and it was a great moment for us in our career. We were a part of the Nordic Cool Festival, a month-long international festival of theater, dance, music, visual arts, literature, design, cuisine, and film to highlight the diverse cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as well as the territories of Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Áland Islands.

Alicia Adams
 Vice President, International Programming
 Festival Curator says about the festival:

Along our journey to discover and ultimately create Nordic Cool 2013–and to answer, or at least attempt to answer, the question “What is Nordic?”–I experienced the art, culture, people, land, and values that are honored daily. Among them: nature, sustainability, innovation, design and technology, children’s well-being and rights, gender equality, and diversity. What is Nordic?

We are happy and proud to represent the diversity of Nordic culture as it also looks today in a modern global society with links between people instead of borders.

We want to thank The Kennedy Center for selecting us, Statens Musikverk for recommending us and the Swedish Arts Council and Arts Grants Committee for supporting us. And most important – The audience who listen to our music!

From the bottom of our hearts – Thank you!

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