African Music Encyclopedia


Ami Koita


Ami Koita was born in the Malian village of Djoliba, the same village where Salif Keita was born. Both arists sing in the traditional jalistyle, though Koita was born into a jalifamily, and Keita chose the path of a jali instead of the "freeborn" or "noble" class he was born to. Actually Ami Koita is really called a jalimusolu, a female griot singer.

Koita's soaring voice, attitude, and presence has made her a role model for all of Mali's contemporary women. As she sings:

"I am proud to be a griot, I become a bird and fly above the people."

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