Barra, Djembe, Balafon, Vocals
Like all members of the Koné family, Yaya Kone was initiated at an early age to music. With his barra (gourde drum), Yaya accompanied his father (Bassidi Koné’s grandfather) at various ceremonies, wedding, and baptisms. During this time, he regularly attended the rehearsals of one of the most well known troupes in Mali, Kanaga Orchestra of Mopti, renoun for their mythical sound. Yaya’s father played balafon with this troupe. In 2003, Yaya left home to live in Bamako, a bustling, musical capital. In 2004, he joined the group Babemba, one of the oldest and most traditional troupes in Mali, well known for their traditional dance, balafon skill and percussion. The troupe, whose mission was to preserve and develop the traditional songs and dances from Mali, gave him the opportunity to become familiar with the rhythms of all ethnic groups present in Mali, and to acquire and develop his professionalism as a musician. In 2007, he joined the Triton Star, a group formed by students from the Institut National des Arts (INA), where he showed his musical culture and versatility.
Rich in all these experiences, it was in 2010 when he returned to his roots by joining his Bobo family, the Bwazan. He plays the balafon and djembe, but prefers the barra, the instrument of his childhood and the one that allows him to express themselves fully.