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Cissoko, Doudou
Now that the West African states of Senegal and Mali are recognised as centres of the global music scene, their most distinctive instrument, the kora, has become more than an exotic novelty. The local version of both the harp and the lute, it has embellished the work of many of the finest singers from the region, from Salif Keita to Baaba Maal. And kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate has demonstrated the instrument's versatility in experiments with flamenco musicians Ketama and award-winning collaborations with US blues hero Taj Mahal. Doudou Cissoko is a Senegalese singer-songwriter and bandleader who uses his kora as the main backing instrument for his own gentle songs. Like so many other West African stars, Cissoko comes from a family of musicians, but has developed a distinctive style of his own, a decidedly laid-back Afro-European fusion.