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Quebec Scene

April 20 to May 5, 2007

Tickets on Sale


Zal Idrissa Sissokho


As a descendent of the Sissokho line – the men who have passed down the history of the Mandinka people since the dawn of time – Zal Idrissa Sissokho learned the oral and musical traditions of his native Senegal from his father. In addition to singing, this young composer plays the kora (a 21-string African harp) and a large bass drum called the thioug. His infectiously energetic shows feature a daring blend of tradition and odernity.

Zal Idrissa Sissokho

Zal Idrissa Sissokho

Born in Dakar, Senegal, Zal Idrissa Sissokho is descended from a long line of griots, musicians and storytellers who are the keepers of the oral tradition. When he was still a child he learned to play the kora (a traditional African 21 stringed harp), a skill passed down from generation to generation. He continued his studies under the great kora master Toumany Kouyaté.

In addition to the kora, Zal Idrissa plays the thioug, a Senegalese bass drum; writes most of the songs for the group Buntalo; and sings in Mandinka and Wolof. He has performed with many Quebec artists, including Takadja, the Diouf brothers, Richard Séguin, Lilison, IKS, Hart Rouge, Muna Mingolém and Alpha Yaya Diallo, and collaborated on a dozen recordings with various artists including Monica Freire, Corneille, and the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir. In December 2005 he worked with the Cirque du Soleil show O, in Las Vegas. Zal Idrissa Sissokho has also toured extensively in Africa.


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Price: $10

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National Arts Centre