Tamala wins Octave de la Musique and Klara for World Music

After winning the Klara for best Belgium world music album (the Flemish world music award), trio Tamala, consisting of Mola Sylla (vocals, hoddu, percussion), Bao Sissoko (kora, calabash) and Wouter Vandenabeele, have been awarded the other Belgian award, the Octave de la Musique for best Belgian world music album. The Octaves de la Musique are the music awards of Wallonie-Bruxelles (the french speaking part of Belgium). Other contenders were Karim Baggili, Afrikan Protikol, Fanfare de Belgistan and Didier Laloy 'Belem & the MeKanics'.


The band Tamala (“travelers”), like its name, explores the infinite possibilities of the encounter between the musical backgrounds of the trio. Guided by a natural musical alchemy, the musicians of Tamala swing easily between tradition and innovation, strength and subtlety, dream and reality, north and south.

Over and above their mutual musical understanding, these musicians also share a set of values that they have agreed to defend thanks to their music. They support a school in Senegal, hence their nickname “the ambassadors of Ceppe”.

Mola Sylla sings with a power that stems from the heart. The timbre of his gravelly voice makes him one of the most creative Senegalese singers, as witness his long collaboration with the Dutch celliste Ernst Reijsiger, with whom he composed the soundtrack of Werner Herzog’s film The Blue Yonder. Mola Sylla also plays the xalam (West African lute)), kongoma and kalimba (thumbed pianos), as well as percussion. Bao Sissoko is acknowledged throughout Europe as a talented kora-player. A true master of this West African harp, he has not only played alongside the famous Baaba Maal but is also known for his collaboration with Malick Pathé Sow. The Belgian folk violinist Wouter Vandenabeele can still surprise us with his collaborations, each one more daring than the last. After collaborating with the Syrian oud-player Elias Bachoura and taking part in the world-folk big band Olla Vogala, Wouter is now putting his energy into this trio.

The three musicians had already worked together a few years ago on the albums “The music of Issa Sow” and Mami Kanouté’s “Mousso Lou”, but it’s as a trio that the magic of their music becomes truly apparent. Sincerity and serenity flow from each note, like an invitation to let oneself be carried away at the whim of the melodies. The complicity between the violin, the kora and the singing is intoxicating, the dialogue is sustained, and sheer pleasure in playing shines out at every instant. A pleasure that one can’t help sharing.

“Absolutely magical. Music that really pulls the heart strings in all directions." Lopa Kothari
- BBC Radio 3 ‘World on 3’

fROOTS ***** Playlist album choice

***** "It’s infectious and the only cure might be to listen some more!"
Simon Redley - Music Republic Magazine (UK)

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article submitted by:Peter Van Rompaey, Muziekpublique

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