There is a palpable excitement in the air as Sekouba Bambino takes the stage. Known internationally as “The Golden Voice of Guinea”, his fiery presence and majestic voice reach out over a spellbound audience as he prowls the stage wielding a delicate balance of power and grace.
Sekouba “Bambino” Diabaté was born in the small village of Siguiri near the Malian border, he is descended from Griots or Djeli (a caste of musically gifted oral-historians, messegers and bards in West Africa), his mother Mariama Samoura was one of the most celebrated singers of her time. At the tender age of 12, Sekouba was discovered by Guinean President, Sekou Touré and at the President’s urging he became the frontman for the state-sponsored group Bembeya Jazz National. Joining the group earned him the moniker “Bambino” due to his young age and led him to be called "The National Treasure of Guinea". After the privatization and subsequent break-up of Bembeya Jazz, Bambino became the lead singer of Africando before leaving the group to pursue a solo career. Since that time Bambino has recorded 9 successful solo albums and collaborated on several others with Bembeya Jazz and Africando. He has been featured on compilations such as: The Rough Guide to Mali & Guinea and World 2003 by EMI. Most recently his song, "Decouragé" was remixed by British dj, Charles Webster and featured on the Buddha Bar Vol. 2 compilation.
Sekouba Bambino is an ambassador of Guinean music and Griot culture, breathing new life into ancient rhythms and bridging the divide between traditional and modern Africa while remaining true to his heritage. He is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter of virtuoso talent. Critically acclaimed and internationally sought-after, Bambino remains a champion of the people. Bambino is a Red Cross ambassador and an advocate for change seeking to educate the world about the plight of children suffering the effects of poverty, war and disease. Bambino’s lyrics speak to the human condition reinforcing basic values and encouraging us to treat one another with kindness and respect. His soft-spoken demeanor and profound humility have endeared him to the hearts of the African people and in spite of his superstar status Bambino has not forgotten his role as a Griot; a role that he does not take lightly. It is his love for his people and for the whole of humanity that has helped him transcend language and cultural borders to spread his dream of peace and tolerance wherever he goes. Perhaps it could be said that his role as a Griot has transformed along the way, he is no longer simply Siguiri’s beloved “Bambino” but a messenger to all of humanity spreading his words of compassion and tolerance throughout the world.