The music of Youssoupha Sidibe is deeply infused with a longing for the full realization of divine love in this world. Youssoupha’s musical career began over twenty years ago in his home of Senegal, West Africa, where he was trained as a Kora player at the National Music Conservatory of Senegal. His music fuses traditional West African sounds on the Kora, with the Sufi devotional chanting of the Senegalese Baay Faal community. The angelic sounds of the Kora, an indigenous harp, soulfully carry Youssoupha’s devotional lyrics sung in Wolof, Arabic, French and English.
Since his arrival on the international music circuit, Youssoupha has recorded, performed, and/or collaborated with artists such as India Arie, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Charles Neville, Future Man, Michael Franti and Spearhead, and Matisyahu. His latest collaboration, “Shalom/Salaam”, was with artist Matisyahu, on the album entitled “Youth”. “Youth” also contains an additional track, “Ancient Lullaby”, which features Youssoupha on Kora. Rolling Stone Magazine picked “Shalom/Salaam” as one of the two “key tracks” on the album. Since it’s release, “Youth” has gone Gold, and in January 2007, the album was nominated for a Grammy award for best reggae album of the year.
Youssoupha’s music has served to invoke the divine through Sufi sound in the presence of many large and diverse groups of people. Youssoupha has performed, recorded, and led healing music workshops throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. He has graced the stages of many notable venues such as Reggae on the River, Manhattan Center, Earthdance World Peace Festival, The Warfield Theatre, and many more. His music is inspiring and empowering for people of all ages. The sound of the Kora beautifully blends with the powerful human emotion and faith that Youssoupha embodies. Sacred Sound brings a new dimension to the celebration of the human experience. Through this and many other collaborations, as well as countless performances over the course of 25 years, Youssoupha has developed thousands of fans all over the world.
Youssoupha has performed and recorded with many exceptional musicians. Grammy nominated for his collaboration with Matisyahu (Youth), he has released albums with Charles Neville (Tree of Life), Midnite (For All), Steve Kimock (TBA) a duet with Michael Franti (What I be), and collaborated live with India Arie, , Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Michael Kang of String Cheese Incident, Chris Berry Trio, Shimshai, and many more. Youssoupha has performed at some of the most famous festivals and venues in the world including :The Hammerstein Ballroom NYC, The Warfield Theatre SF CA, The African Festival of the Arts Chicago, Reggae Rising, Reggae on the River CA, Stanford University,Michigan Tech University, Salmon Arm Roots and Blues British Columbia, to name a few.
Youssoupha Sidibe Video and Audio Samples: Main Stage High Sierra Music Festival
Live at the Independent SF http://youtu.be/N0fblccyFu0?hd=1
W/ Charles Neville (Neville Brothers) in support of their new album “Tree of Life” http://youtu.be/KY7g2Fs-uW8?hd=1
W/ Midnite from the album “For All” http://youtu.be/I01IJo1fFy0
w/ Michael Franti at the Warfield in SF http://youtu.be/-NzS-NsxxxM
w/ Steve Kimock (“Unknown Legend” –CNN) http://youtu.be/-IMYYE_5o5c
w/ Grammy Winning India Arie http://http://youtu.be/oIfGGalE6kM (for 13,000 people)
w/ Grammy Nominated Matisyahu http://youtu.be/5399608 w/ Midnite Link
w/ Michael Kang (String Cheese Incident) & Chris Berry http://youtu.be/ttGhcloGrlM
Charles Neville & Youssoupha Sidibe project press: “The rippling, and at times percussive, arrangements with the kora are like rocks in a stream, with Neville’s fluid and melodic saxophone like water flowing over and around the rocks. The music is meant to be a healing force that binds the past with the present. ” — Beth Peerless — The Monterey County Herald http://www.montereyherald.com/gomagazine/ci_16583155?nclick_check=1 “The project connects jazz and traditional African music, and the result is as stunning as it is soothing… It’s both a brave departure and completely natural. The CD is worth a listen when you are in the mood for quiet contemplation and simple beauty.” – Register Guard
http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/sevendays/25550333–35/sidibe-african-music-neville-kora.csp “Grammy-winning, jazzy Neville Brother lends his restrained, sultry sax lines to Youssoupha Sidibe’s sparkling, reggae-inflected African harp, the latest in the Senegalese virtuoso’s collaborations with Western artists, including Matisyahu, Michael Franti, Bela Fleck, India Arie and more.” – Brett Campbell –
Willamete Week http://www.northcoastjournal.com/music/ (scroll down on linked page)
http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101112/TEMPO/11120302 http://portlandtribune.com/features/story.php?story_id=129003025763068000 Youssoupha Sidibe recorded with Matisyahu on his album “Youth” which Youssoupha received a Gold record as well as a Grammy Nomination for. “Yousoupha is great. I have performed with him many times … and we find ourselves on stage together sharing very deep and moving musical improvisations. His melodies are beautiful, his rhythm is engaging, and he is a spiritual man transmitting roots music. I am a fan of Yousoupha and his music.” –MATISYAHU — Multi-Platinum Selling, Grammy Nominated Musician HD Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiuoQmbCzgI&hd=1 (Youssoupha Sidibe and Matisyahu collaborate at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn 2011) ” Hypnoptic .….….…. melodic pure kemetic expression conjuring deep memories of spirits past and present . Youssoupha Sidibe is the genuine article as the tradition still lives and breathes even after thousands of years. All praises due to the master musician who plays us all.” Muata Kenyatta Associate Director of Concerts at San Francisco State University.