Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s


Formed in 1973 in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, by balafon (wooden xylophone) virtuoso Mahama Konaté. Originally a four-piece, the group has since grown to a multi-generational 15-strong troupe of percussionists, singers and dancers. Farafina are strongly rooted in West African tradition and yet unafraid to experiment and collaborate with those from other cultures. They first became known outside of Burkina Faso via a 1982 European tour. They subsequently made regular visits to both Europe and Japan and in 1988 were the opening act for the Nelson Mandela Birthday Concert at Wembley Stadium in London, which was broadcast worldwide. The group also collaborated with American avant garde trumpeter Jon Hassell on the same year’s Flash Of The Spirit. Co-produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, the album featured the group’s trademark deep percussive sound overlaid with electronica and effects. The following year’s Bolomakoté...

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