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Touré Kunda








Touré Kunda

Toure means “elephant” and Kunda is “home”, the reason why the band is often called “The Elephant Family”.


In 1973 Ismaila Toure left his Casamance to see the world and explore its music, eventually arriving two years later in Paris where he worked in community service and played charity concerts before inviting his youger brother Sixu Tidiane to join him in 1977. That same year they played their first concert at Pantin before going to a residency at the Theatre Dunois in Paris. On the strength of their live success they released their debut album “Ismaila and Sixu” and invited two of their brothers to join them to create TOURE KUNDA. Over the next two years they toured extensively and in 1979 they released their first album on Celluloid which went gold like their four subsequent albums.

Touré Kunda

In 1983 during a concert in Paris their older brother Amadou died of a heart attack. A concert was organised in his memory after which the brothers returned to Africa embarking on a major tour of the Ivory Coast, Mali, Gambia and Senegal which bore the fabulous live album “Paris – Ziguinchor” which sold more than 200 000 copies. With their younger brother Ousmane replacing Amadou the band went back on the road in France selling out the Espace balard in front of 20 000 fans and going on to a major tour which attracted over 200 000 spectators. Later in the year they released a new album produced by Bill Laswell entitled “Natalia” after which they embarked on a world tour selling out major dates in the U.S.A. and Japan.

In 1986 they signed French independent labem TREMA releasing two albums “Live at Palais des Congres Sounke” and “Sili Beto”. During this period they continued touring playing all the major festivals in Europe where they broke numerous attendance records and several prestigious events like the Summit of African head’s of State and the Humans Rights Concert for Nelson Mandela in Paris. In order to capitalise on their extensive overseas the group now back to its original format of Ismaila and Sixu signed their first contract with a major, WEA and in 1996 released “Mouslai” which was recorded in France and England.


Touré Kunda

Their reputation as a live act and representatives of African music had resulted in a meeting of “the brothers” with Carlos Santana, with whom they went on to play in Paris and Frejus, then it was natural for them to invite Carlos to guest on this album. Unfortunately contractual commitments made this impossible but they did eventually write together a new song, “Africa Bamba”, which four years later was to be recorded for the monumental album “Supernatural which has now sold over 12 millions albums worldwide.

In February 2000, Carlos invited Ismaila ans Sixu to play with him at a live concert at the French radio France Inter during he suggested that they accompany him on his
European tour which kicks off in Madrid on May 18th. The group’s new album “Terra Saabi” has been released on Edel to coincide with this event.




“We were born and grew up in Santhiaba, Ziguinchor, Senegal. It is based between the neighbourhood of Escale in the north, Leouna and Kande, in the east, Boucotte Perissac and Soucoup Papaya in the south. Our life began in Santhiaba. We also learned music, theatre and dance there. We especially learned to live in harmony with all dialectical components. In all our albums we mentioned Casamance. For this production, we, Ismaila and Sixu Tidiane, have brought together Brazil with Tony’s guitare, Serbian’s accordion with Stan, sons of the north Senegal with Samba Laobe N’Diaye producer of this album, Laye Kane the “hal popular” of the guitar, Senegalese pianist Chekh Leonza Diallo, Dembo Toure called “diesel” and the French Nicolas Leroy. The whole thing recorded and mixed by Cuban Tymour Cardenas, directed by ourselves.


Video link :

Touré Kunda biography   Biographie Touré Kunda


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