Bwazan, the Bobos who are the pride of Mali in the field of percussion.
Bamako Hebdo, Mali – 2014
Bwazan (‘Bobo children’), are a percussion and dance troupe from San, in the Segou region in Mali. They present original Bwa songs, rhythms, and dances, which are accompanied by their traditional instruments, including the balafon (West African xylophone), the doun doun and djembe (hand drums), the yabara, and the barra (calabash drum), kamalan n’goni (stringed harp), and kora.
Bwazan was founded in 2006 by lead-percussionist, Bassidi Koné. The majority of the group are from the same family line of Griots, who grew up together beside the instruments of their elders. From a young age, the group were initiated into the study of instruments, songs, and rhythm scores in their pure tradition.
Today, Bwazan revisit and innovate, through their own arrangements and instrumentation, the sound of their elders and ancestors with the greatest respect, upholding their musical heritage by promoting and preserving the identity, spirituality and cultural richness of their Bwa ethnicity. They are a delight musically, performing their uplifting music with great professionalism, soul, enthusiasm and joy. Complex movements, precision, and harmony, combined with energetic dances, describe this ensemble of talented, young artists, who maintain the traditions of village masters.
Bwazan participate in national and international festivals and events throughout Africa. They have received numerous awards in recognition of their music and musicianship, including the 1st prize for the Young Talent Trophy (2009) at the Festival Sur Le Niger festival in Segou, Mali, and the ‘prix de la virtuosity’ (2009) and ‘prix Alcaly Camara’ (2012) at the Triangle du Balafon festival in Sikasso, Mali. Bwazan look forward the upcoming release of their third album, ‘Denbagnuma’.
As ambassadors of their musical heritage, Bwazan represent Mali, promoting a message of peace and solidarity.
Nuit du Kamalan N’goni Festival
Yanfolila, Mali (April 2015/16)
FESFOP : Festival International de Folklore et de Percussions
Louga, Senegal (January 2014/15/16)
Festival International des Arts et de la Culture de Kurukanfuga
Kangaba, Mali (2013/14)
FESCAURI : Festival International des Cauris du Mandé
Siby, Mali. (2012/13)
‘International de Bancoumana’
Bancoumana, Mali (2012/13)
‘Festival sur le Niger’
Segou, Mali (2011/12)
‘Triangle du Balafon’
International Balafon Festival
Sikasso, Mali (2009/12)