Vienna-based Mamadou Diabaté is the master of the balafon, a wooden instrument of a rich and long history in West-Africa. Born a Sambla of Burkina Faso, Diabaté plays the traditional music of his people, which is unique in “speaking” Sambla: the instruments imitate the melody and rhythm of the language. Coming from a traditional jeli family, Diabaté started his musical education when five, and has since developed into an innovative musician renowned in his native country and internationally. His virtuoso style mastering polyphonic and polymetric pieces gives the impression that a trio is playing. Indeed Diabaté is well-versed in many West-African instruments, but his music centres around the balafon. Since moving to Austria in 2000 he has released 12 albums, constantly innovating and showing new aspects of the ancient instrument.