Event sponsored by Bakers & Larners

N’famady Kouyaté

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Saturday 30th July | 8.30 pm
Stage on the Field view festival venue map »

World music lovers will be blown away by the infectious enthusiasm and sheer joy of Guinean master musician N’famady Kouyaté and his full band line-up.

This talented multi-instrumentalist has wowed audiences across the UK and Ireland with his modern interpretation of traditional West African Mandingue songs and rhythms. N’famady’s primary instrument is the balafon – the traditional wooden xylophone, sacred to West African culture and his family heritage of the griot/djeli. In Guinea he founded ‘Les Héritiers du Mandingue’ a tradi-modern group that toured extensively in West Africa.

Now relocated to Wales, N’famady has played both as a solo artist and with a full band line-up – where his arrangements are a fusion of Mandingue African with western jazz, pop, indie, and funk influences provided by an ever-evolving collective of musicians. Instrumentation includes balafon, keyboards, drumkit, djembe, guitar, bass, kora, doundoun, congas, saxophone, trumpet and callabash. N’famady’s performances create amazing atmospheres and vibrations wherever he goes.

N’famady released his first EP in July 2021, recorded in the legendary Rockfield Studios, with a full band line-up, including guest appearances from Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Lisa Jên Brown (9Bach), and Kliph Scurlock (The Flaming Lips).  The EP features mash-ups of traditional Guinean songs with new Welsh lyrics, modern and traditional instrumentation, played by a ten-piece band.  N'famady has a steadily growing fanbase both in the UK and West Africa.

During the 2020 lockdown N'famady participated in a number of on-line events including DarloDrum Fest, Ara Deg festival online, Out Of Focus Wales, and Gwyl 2021 festival - but due to COVID-19 restrictions was only able to do solo sets.  N'famady did play one pop-up (socially distanced) gig with a full band line-up, plus special guest Gruff Rhys, as part of Butetown Carnival in Cardiff Bay in September 2020.  The Summer of 2021 saw the band performing at the Wales Millennium Centre, Llangollen Fringe Festival, and taking the Green Man Festival by storm headlining the Chai Wallah stage.

Running Time 80mins
Please bring your own seating

The sound of unfettered joy…that’s utterly utterly wonderful
Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales

…a kaleidoscope of vibrant sounds and colours, a mesmerizing and joyous introduction to a truly international artist
Bill Cummings, God is the TV

We were delighted to have N'famady showcasing at FOCUS Wales 2021 in October didn't hesitate to select him as one of just 5 INES artists from Wales for our FOCUS Wales INES roster 2021-2022, N'famady is well placed to take big steps in his career over the next year.
Andy Jones, Co-Founder & Music Programmer, FOCUS Wales