Modou Ndiaye

Kora Workshops & Band Performance

Master Kora player and drummer Modou Ndiaye is a member of the famous Cissokho family of Griot musicians and oral historians. A Griot or 'Jali' is a West African historian, advisor, arbitrator, praise singer, story-teller and entertainer. Essentially these musicians were walking history books, preserving their ancient stories and traditions through song. Their inherited traditions were passed down through the generations.

Modou was born in Lindiane, a leafy suburb of Ziguinchor in the lush green region of Casamance, Southern Senegal.

Growing up in a Griot family, Modou was surrounded by music from a very early age, especially the kora, so it was inevitable that the traditions of the kora would be passed down to him. Modou started learning the kora from the age of five, which was taught by his Grandfather 'Jali Kemo Cissokho'. At fourteen, he began learning the djembe and had soon mastered many other percussion instruments as well. Modou is very proud of his heritage. He started out  playing classical, traditional songs as passed down to him but soon realised his passion and talent lay in incorporating these pieces into his own compositions, creating a unique style of his own.

Modou is not only a performing and recording artist, he is also a tutor, teaching kora and djembe, both here in the UK and internationally at festivals and corporate workshops. Modou has worked with organisations such as ‘Do you speak Djembe’ and ‘Sewa Beats’ both based in Switzerland and France providing corporate workshops and huge orchestra style shows, mainly in France and Switzerland, as well as countries such as Dubai & Qatar.

Modou has also worked with both ‘Live Music Now’ and ‘Superact’. These are charitable organisations that provide participatory performances, workshops and training events throughout the UK.  They deliver music to groups in the community whose access to live music would normally be restricted, such as children with special needs, adults with learning difficulties, older people, hospital and hospice patients, prison inmates and young offenders and refugees. 

Modou also teaches students in primary schools, secondary schools and colleges, which led him to work with organisations such the Womad Foundation as part of the ‘Singing the Rhythms of Life’ project.

Modou’s dream is spread through his music: the universal language of peace, togetherness, love and understanding across the globe.

Modou will be headlining our Saturday night, performing music from his latest album 'Londo'. During the day Modou will be teaching Kora for beginners and improver/intermediate levels.

Video here


Year Contributions
2019 Workshops and Performance