Dandelion Radio
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'Broadcast One' - Dandelion Radio's 1st compilation album

For June we have 30 hours of new shows - including an exclusive session

Artist Info

Leon Keita

Powered by Audioscrobbler™A fixture on the Malian music scene, Leon Keïta was born in Conakry on the Atlantic coast of Guinea in 1947. After completing his studies he found his way to the Malian capital where, in addition to founding the Piano Jazz Orchestra, he worked as a teacher, organiser of cultural festivals, and accountant for the National Tobacco and Match company. During this time he also wrote reports for the Malian President Modibo Keita, and at the end of meetings he would sometimes entertain the delegates with a song or two.

In 1970, Leon helped to found the legendary Rail-Band, which became a celebrated mainstay of Bamako’s nightlife and launched the international careers of Salif Keita, Mory Kanté and many others. Leon himself went on to join Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux alongside his close friend Manfila Kanté, with whom he toured throughout West Africa, before departing to work on his own compositions.

When Leon was ready to visit the recording studio he invited his friends from Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux to serve as his backing band; the collaboration yielded two records, both released in 1978 on the Papa Disco label. A year later Leon released “Rythmes et Mélodies du Mali”, co-written with his brother Germain and backed by the magnificent Orchestre Black Santiago; featuring infectious trumpet from band-leader Ignace de Souza, the LP was recorded in Benin at the Satel Studio in Cotonou.

Although Leon didn’t make many solo recordings, his songs continue to inspire the reverence of anyone fortunate enough to have heard them. In recent years the song “Dalaka” was rediscovered by Barranquilla’s sound system operator Carlos Estrada and became an unexpected hit on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
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Artist biography from last.fm

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