African Music Encyclopedia


Fanta Damba


Fanta Damba, born in 1938 in the Malian village of Segou, is also known to her fans as La Grande Vedette Malienne. She was born into a well-known jali family and both of her parents were musicians. She started singing as a child, in fact, at the age of seven she enrolled in a sort of jali school which was supervised by the greatest griots of the region. By sixteen she had already made a name for herself and started recording in her early 20s thanks to the help of Radio Mali. In 1975, Damba was the first jalimusolu to tour Euroupe as a solo artist accompanied by ngoni (a guitar-lute), kora and guitar.

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