Kassoum Diarra - Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

Kassoum Diarra was born in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso on 16 October 1968. Highly appreciated for the elegance of his style, he is recognized as one of the biggest djembefolas of Burkina Faso in his generation.

He began his musical career at the age of six, following in the footsteps of his maternal uncle, Haraba Koita, n'goni player, accompanied by the dunun.

Two years later, he continued his studies under the guidance of his paternal uncle Lassina Diarra studying the balafon. His first training Djembe was at the age of 12, when he began playing at ceremonies under the guidance of Baba Kouyate. In 1984 he joined the troupe Avenir, becoming its first djembe soloist. Meanwhile, he made a series of study visits to Guinea and the Ivory Coast.

Image of Kassoum Diarra

He then met and studied with Adama Drame and performed with his group, Foliba, between 1985 and 1990. He then joined the group of Mahama Konate, Farafina Lili. Two years later, he founded the group Kassama Percussions with whom he recorded a CD. In 1994 he participated in the award winning documentary film directed by Danny Kouyate, "Keïta - l'Heritage du griot". In 1999 he founded the Association Kassama Burkina Aza organizing study tours in the Western part of Burkina Faso.

Kassoum Diarra has taught many excellent students who today are famous djembefolas, including Seydou Dao, Karamogo "Baba" Diarra and Abdoulaye Traore. Although he has travelled to Europe to teach and perform, he chose to remain in Burkina Faso.

In 2009 he recorded the CD Afrika Accono with the Anike Orchestra (another group with his brother Samana Diarra and members of Kassama), his third CD.