We are sorry, this show has been canceled. Djeneba's schedule has changed so that she can no longer travel to Vermont at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.
"Djeneba Seck started out as an actress, but the beauty and purity of her voice inevitably led to a career as a singer..." says Calabash Music.
"After a successful 14-year career, she continues to seek out every nuance and subtlety in her many musical compositions and her lyrics comment feely on social and political problems of Malian society."
Djeneba Seck was born in Bamako (Mali), but her family’s roots are in Kita, a town famous for its music. Her father was a nurse and her mother a midwife.
She was a shy young girl, and at an early age found that acting gave her the opportunity to confront her timidity by joining the artistic and cultural groups of her district. Contrary to the experience of many Malian artists, she was positively encouraged by her parents, who doubtless sensed a hidden talent.
Very quickly Dieneba revealed herself to be an excellent comedienne. And in 1984 she brought home the trophy for best soloist and took part in the bi-annual artistic and cultural show of her district. Such was her success that she dropped her studies in favor of an artistic career. In 1986 she met Sekou Kouyate, one of her admirers, and he immediately took her on as a backing vocalist for his band. The combination of his hard work and her beautifully pure voice helped them make their mark on the Malian music scene.
Kouyate’s group went from strength to strength and were soon recorded for Malian television, then in its infancy. Their hit song that flooded the airwaves was “N’Kadignon Ye.” The jubilation was short-lived for Dieneba as the success of the record led to the inevitable migration to France for bandleader and lead vocalist Sekou. Far from being discouraged, however, she picked herself up and rediscovered her first love, the theatre. She also continued to rehearse with the Bamako district orchestra and, together with Ana Hather, a member of the U.S. Peace Corps, participated in the production of an album to raise awareness about the hazards of dysentery and associated illnesses.
Dieneba’s first solo recording was made in 1991 in Ivory Coast with the patronage of a man named Abdoulaye Traore. For a first effort this truly was a masterpiece. “Kankeletigui‘”would become like a hymn, the soundtrack to the transition to democracy in Mali. For a whole year Dieneba was the untouchable queen of Malian song. Her 1991 solo hit "Kankeletigui" became an anthem during the transition to democracy in Mali and gave her the sobriquet "the preacher."
Her second album, Kounkanko Kononni, was released in 1996 and its sales exceeded all expectations. The following year a French-based Malian magazine invited her to France, where she met producer Ibrahima Sylla. He quickly signed her up for his latest project, Les Grobinees, alongside Sona Tata and Hadja Maningbe.
Dieneba is still thought of by many as an outsider, but she has continued unabashed to seek out every nuance and subtlety in her musical compositions. She signed a deal with Syllart Productions and released the album Djourou in July 1999.
For the past four years Dieneba has been composing this opus of 12 new songs, Tigne — The Truth, arranged by her old mentor Sekou Kouyate and produced by Cameroonian guitarist Yves Ndjock.