'Tunya' is the second album by Guinean kora and balafon player/singer/composer and former Afro Celt Sound System member N'Faly Kouyat and follows his 2004 debut 'Kora Grooves', both recorded with his band Dunyakan ('the Voice of the World'). N'Faly was born into one of the most celebrated families of griots of the Manding people (among the largest ethnic groups in West Africa). Despite being traditionally trained from an early age, and also performing with the University Troupe of Conakry, N'Faly has been open to such Western music as Rock, Hip-Hop, Jazz and Classical.
On 'Tunya' he tells stories from his African home and about the unchanging nature of fate. The album communicates his concept of a modern form of world music. African rhythms are connected with string arrangements, African choirs, electronic sounds and instrumental improvisations. The instrumental "Kora Ballad" particularly fulfils a personal dream in combining music of the West African griot tradition with string instruments coming from the Western classical music.
N'Faly first rose to prominence in the UK in 1997 when he became a member of the Afro Celt Sound System (later to be known as Afrocelts) after Peter Gabriel spotted him supporting Salif Keita at a concert. Led by guitarist/producer Simon Emmerson, the Real World Records act Afro Celt Sound System successfully fused dance rhythms with Celtic and African influences. Their album 'Release' (1999) was nominated for a Grammy award and also went Gold in Ireland; their third album 'Further in Time' (2001) was again nominated for a Grammy. Together with the Afro Celt Sound System, N'Faly who has been based in Brussels, Belgium, since 1996, toured all over the world.
He is currently touring all over Europe, including the UK, with his group Dunyakan and has also performed at some of the Still Black, Still Proud African James Brown tribute events.
N'Faly Kouyat & Dunyakan UK & Ireland tour dates:
13 August - Durham Gala, Durham Arts Centre, Durham (0191 3324041, http://www.galadurham.co.uk/)
14 August - Spilsby Theatre (Dandelion Trust), Spilsby, Lincolnshire (01 790 752 936, http://www.spilsby.info/theatre/)
15 August - Broadstairs Folk Week Festival, Broadstairs (01843 604080, http://www.broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk/)
16-23 August - Ethno residency camp (youth workshops), Whitby (N'Faly solo)
18 September - Aldershot Festival, Aldershot, Hampshire (01252 330040, http://www.westendcentre.co.uk/)
19 September - Knockengorroch Festival, Knockengorroch, Scotland (01644 460 662, http://www.knockengorroch.org.uk/)
11 October - Westport Arts Festival, Westport, Ireland (087 412 0176, http://www.westportartsfestival.com/)
26 October - Waterford Festival, Waterford City, Ireland (+353 (0)86 175 9188, http://www.waterfordartsfestival.com/)
28 October - Pontardawe Arts Centre, Pontardawe, Swansea, S. Wales (01792 863722, http://www.npt.gov.uk/leisure__tourism/attractions/arts__entertainment/theatres/pontardawe_arts_centre.aspx)