AMP homeEventsSpecial featuresRecommended cdsRecommended readingVarious photosContact AMPRelevant links
Doudou Cissoko

Doudou Cissoko is a distinctive kora player and vocalist. He was born in Thies, a small town 60 kilometres from the capital of Senegal, Dakar. His musical journey, as he calls it, began as he heard his father, Soundioulou, and other musicians play the kora and sing. At first the kora's 21 strings were always made from woven animal hide but Soundioulou pioneered the use of nylon strings.
Doudou first became seriously interested in playing and composing music when he was about 14 years old. He started to compose in the 1980s but because of his young age it was not possible to have his songs registered at the Senegalese PRS. They got round that problem by getting his elder brother to do that on Doudou's behalf. Also Doudou embarked on a 7-year course in music theory at the National Conservatory in Dakar. After 2 years out of the 7, Doudou decided to concentrate on playing the kora instead of learning theory, so he joined a local Ballet company. One of the places he performed was Goree island which was a popular and beautiful resort popular with tourists. Attracted to Doudou's performances, some visitors invited him to travel to Europe and he went to France in 1994.
In his time as a soloist Doudou opened performances by the well-known Joe Zawinul and Johnny Copeland. However it was while he was based in Bordeaux, and met double-bassist Jean-Jacques Plante that his music began to really branch out and take new routes. Doudou and Jean-Jacques started composing and improvising together, developing the music in