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Coumba Sidibé was born in the 1959 in the Wassoulou region of Mali, West Africa in the village of Koniko. She was born to family of singers and dancers. Her grandparents were some of the most famous singers in the region, and her father was a famous dancer of the Sokomkou masks and secret societies.Read More...
When she was 8, Coumba sang in place of her mother at a wedding. Even at this early age, her talent and musicianship was apparent. From this point forward, she was a regular at weddings and other cultural ceremonies. From 1974 until 1977 (from the ages of 15 to 18) she won “Best Female Vocalist” in the National Competitions held in Mali’s capital, Bamako.
She then shifted her attention to a group setting, and became a member of the Ensemble Instrumental National du Mali. Coumba also started performing as the lead singer of her own group in the early 1980’s.
Coumba’s first album was the highest selling album ever in Africa for a female vocalist. Coumba’s significant touring in support of this and subsequent albums brought Wassoulou music and its distinct singing style to the forefront of the world music scene in Africa, Europe and the United States. After a worldwide tour of almost 10 years, Coumba settled down to tour exclusively in France for a number of years. She has since been performing and raising a family in Mali and New York City.
As Wassoulou music has swept across the globe, legendary singers have followed in the footsteps of Coumba, with Oumou Sangare and Ramata Diakité among those citing Coumba’s work and dedication in their own success.
To say that Coumba Sidibé is a legend does not capture the range and depth of her impact. Her robust, tenor vocal stylings brought Mali to the rest of the world.