GRIOT TRADITIONS OF MALI
Djely Sountougoumba ‘Tapa’ Diarra was born in Kayes, Mali and is a descendant from a long line of griots. She is blessed with the voice of her mother Kandia Kouyate, a legendary Manding singer, and the talents of her Bambara griot father Bouya Diarra, a great traditional dancer of West Africa.
Sountougoumba 'Tapa' Diarra is a praise singer that shares the traditions of her ancestors and her griot heritage. A young artist of exceptional pedigree, Tapainherited the powerful voice of her famous mother, Kandia Kouyaté, and the dance talents of her Bambara father, Bouya Diarra. The kora takes centre stage in Malian tradition and culture, and it is especially significant in the performance of various ceremonies and rites. The kora is a favoured instrument by 'djelys' (griots), a centuries-old caste whose practitioners are revered because they are the keepers of records and oral history of the rich traditions of the ancient kingdoms of Mali. The 'djelys' help preserve their culture by reciting events from one generation to the next. Djely Tapa sings in many languages including Malinké, Bambara, Kasonké and French. Based in Montréal since 2004, Tapa has performed throughout the province of Quebec, and across Canada.