Malian Bassekou Kouyate was born in 1966 in Garana, a village located on the shores of the river Niger. As a child, he picked up picked up the ngoni, a traditional string instrument. Following in the footsteps of his musician father, he accompanied his mother, a singer, on tour. Moving to Bamako in the 1980s, the musician teamed up with kora player Toumani Diabaté, and met with singer Amy Sacko, whom he later married. The couple went on to form Ngoni Ba, mixing West African sounds and American roots music. Segu Blue came out in 2007, followed in 2010 by I Speak Fula, released on Sub Pop Records. Jama Ko came out in January 2013.