Artists overview


A contemporary dimension to the West-African tradition

The band Tamala (“travelers”), like its name, explores the infinite possibilities of the encounter between the musical backgrounds of the trio. Guided by a natural musical alchemy, the musicians of Tamala swing easily between tradition and innovation, strength and subtlety, dream and reality, north and south.

Over and above their mutual musical understanding, these musicians also share a set of values that they have agreed to defend thanks to their music. They support a school in Senegal, hence their nickname “the ambassadors of Ceppe”.

Mola Sylla sings with a power that stems from the heart. The timbre of his gravelly voice makes him one of the most creative Senegalese singers, as witness his long collaboration with the Dutch celliste Ernst Reijsiger, with whom he composed the soundtrack of Werner Herzog’s film The Blue Yonder. Mola Sylla also plays the xalam (West African lute)), kongoma and kalimba (thumbed pianos), as well as percussion. Bao Sissoko is acknowledged throughout Europe as a talented kora-player. A true master of this West African harp, he has not only played alongside the famous Baaba Maal but is also known for his collaboration with Malick Pathé Sow. The Belgian folk violinist Wouter Vandenabeele can still surprise us with his collaborations, each one more daring than the last. After collaborating with the Syrian oud-player Elias Bachoura and taking part in the world-folk big band Olla Vogala, Wouter is now putting his energy into this trio.

The three musicians had already worked together a few years ago on the albums “The music of Issa Sow” and Mami Kanouté’s “Mousso Lou”, but it’s as a trio that the magic of their music becomes truly apparent. Sincerity and serenity flow from each note, like an invitation to let oneself be carried away at the whim of the melodies. The complicity between the violin, the kora and the singing is intoxicating, the dialogue is sustained, and sheer pleasure in playing shines out at every instant. A pleasure that one can’t help sharing.


Mola Sylla (voice, xalam) (Senegal-NL)
Bao Sissoko (kora) (Senegal-BE)
Wouter Vandenabeele (violin) (BE)





Mola Sylla (voice, xalam, Sénégal)

Mola Sylla is a Senegalese singer and multiinstrumentist living in Amsterdam. His powerful and deep voice has led him to many collaborations, for example with Omar Sosa or in his jazz project with Ernst Reijseger and Harmen Fraanje. Mola enjoys exploring all dimensions of music and participated in several musical encounter projects with eclectic genres. He is a founding member of Senemali and VeDaKi (a quartet of Senegalese, Russian and Indian music).




Bao Sissoko (kora, Sénégal)

The excellent jeli musician Bao Sissoko is first and foremost known for his refined and virtuoso kora playing. He collaborated with Malick Pathe Sow on the album Aduna (released at Muziekpublique in 2012), with Baaba Maal, Abu Thiam, Mamy Kanoute, Zap Mama, Vaya Con Dios.




Wouter Vandenabeele (violin, Belgium)

Violinist living in Ghent, Wouter Vandenabeele likes to explore various musics. His other current projects are Ghent Folk Violin Project, Hijaz & Strings, Exodus, The City Song. He played concerts alongside Senegalese traditional violinist Issa Sow. He directed the prestigious “Hadzidakis” project for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (with, among others, the “Madredeus” singers). He recorded about twenty CD’s and gave several hundred performances with “Ambrozijn”, “Olla Vogala” (his world music orchestra) and other projects including “Bared Ataï” with which he played in Morocco and Belgium; “Zuiderwind” (EMI) in collaboration with South African musicians (concerts in Belgium and South Africa). He also worked with Steve Houben, Erik Vermeulen, Savina Yanatou, Philippe Thuriot, “Ex Tempore”.


New Folk sounds (NL)
Marius Roeting

“Lumba is not only music from the heart, but also music for fellow human beings, in many senses.”

Jazz Mania (BE)
Claudy Jalet

“There would be a lot more to say about this record… The booklet […] informs us about the instruments used on each track and it also offers interesting little explanatory texts about the context of writing and the subject of the song. The ideal complement to explore, while listening to this music so captivating, pure, which is satisfied with an acoustic essential to which we are not too accustomed anymore. An outright success.”

RnR Magazine (UK)
Norman Darwen

“It is a rather positive message from a very positive and rather beautiful album.”

MixedWorldMusic.com (BE)
Rik van Boeckel

“Lumba is an album with a clear message, carried by beautiful West African music with lyrics written from the griot tradition in which both Mola Sylla and Bao Sissoko were raised!”

Le Soir (BE)
Thierry Coljon

“A haunting and majestic blues record, both choral and intimate, solar and introspective.”

Tropicalidad (BE)

“With Lumba, Tamala has once again produced a rock-solid album that is convincing both musically and in terms of content!”

Klara (BE)

“A trio that respectfully brings together elements from various traditions to make music for our times.”

rtbf (BE)
Le Monde est un Village

*** LIVE DIFFUSION @La Petite Fabriek

folk radio (UK)
Philip Thomas

“Musically speaking, this fine CD is a bit like peeling an onion…with each new layer, you find something different to engage with.”

Le Monde (FR)
Fabien Mollon

“Frottées, pincées ou vocales, leurs cordes se complètent à merveille”

Mike Adcock

“Just now and then, a record comes along in which everything about it seems to perfectly embody the broader intentions underlying the work. Lumba is a case in point.”

Blogfoolk (IT)
Alessio Suran

These songs are characterized by catchy melodies and well rhythmic, but it is worth reading (in the beautiful trilingual French-English-Dutch booklet) also the message conveyed by the verses in Wolof and Soussou.”

Glodie Mungaba

“West African culture demands attention, as does the mixture of Belgian and Senegalese influences.”

Larsen (BE)
Jean-Pierre Goffin

“If the respect for the human and the nature is central in this project, it was necessary to express it with talent: Hallelujah, it is perfectly successful!”

Blogfoolk (IT)
Alessio Surian 

“[Tamala played] in front of a theater completely carried away by the narrative intensity of the three musicians. The trio favors its own original compositions and moments that enhance the wide expressive range of Mola Sylla’s voice and the instrumental interweaving between kora and violin”

RTBF La Première (BE)
Le monde est un village

Premiere of Tamala’s concert recorded at Festival d’Art de Huy 2018

The i Paper (UK)
Simon O'Hagan

“Womad in microcosm might look like the wonderful three-piece Tamala – two Senegalese and a Belgian – whose set was a  personal highlight, combining kora with violin and vocals to exquisite effect”

Folk (BE)

“It’s like when you’re in a room with too many people and you open the window”

Folkcorner Den Appel (NL)

“This album, which swells with temperate acoustic energy, seals an interwovenness between South and North, gives out a lot of musical warmth.”

Newfolksounds (NL)
Bart Vanoutrive

“This album, which encloses an interweaving of South and North with subdued acoustic power, radiates an unprecedented purging musical warmth”

fROOTS #414 (UK)
Vic Smith

***** “Such high spots are enough to merit much repeated listening”


Songlines #134 (UK)
Nigel Williamson

 “Quietly graceful acoustic music of a chamber-like intensity”

BBC Radio 3 (UK)
Lopa Kothari

“One of my absolute loves right now and it’s going to take quite something to knock it off the pole position”

5 planètes (FR)
Etienne Bours

“Une profonde poésie se dégage quasi mélancoliquement de ces compositions partagées par les trois musiciens qui, manifestement, se sont écoutés avant de se prétendre capables de jouer en trio. Un disque d’une fraîcheur suave dont n’est pourtant jamais absente une gravité qui vaut mille de nos colères.”

Music Republic Magazine (UK)
Simon Redley

***** “An audible bond and mutual respect marinated into every little nuance and note. Each time I have given this disc a spin, I break out into a spontaneous smile. It’s infectious and the only cure might be to listen some more ! […] These organic instruments, the stripped down and simplistic nature of this recording, the trio’s natural exuberance and that ethereal/passionate voice blends together to create a gorgeous ambience.”

VPRO Vrije Geluiden (NL)

“Music that comes straight from the heart”

Alastair Johnston

“In fact the violin blends in perfectly, alternately plucked and bowed (as on “Xafamaya”) adding counterpoint and grace notes and making the ensemble sound that much bigger.”


Moors Magazine (NL)

A jewel of an album. Sublime”

Mixed World Music (NL)
Ton Maas

“Calm and peaceful, Sissoko rolls out the majestic grooves, while Vandenabeele mostly restricts himself to subtle melodic interventions. This gives Sylla plenty of space to enchant with his voice.”

Written in Music (NL)
Philippe De Cleen

***** “(trad) The virtuoso trio has much to offer on the album for all sorts of traditions, but emphatically searches for its own language. The combination between violin, kora and various exotic instruments takes the listener to this stunningly beautiful album, though it is primarily the underlying message of respect for human and nature that is central to this.

rebelbase.be (BE)

“True gem of an album !”



Ekultura.hu (HU)
Galgóczi Tamás

“Cela vaut la peine de prendre le temps pour écouter l’album attentivement, car si on réussi à en ressentir la saveur, cette musique vous donnera vraiment beaucoup”

Oxfambrugge.be (BE)

“Three virtuoso musicians and craftsmen pur sang guarantee on ‘Tamala’ more than one hour of delightful listening pleasure.”

Rootstime (BE)
Dani Heyvaert

“Summed up: impressive musical craftsmanship, coupled with open spirits and respect for Man and Nature … a conclusion, indicating that our world is not completely lost yet.”

Upcoming concerts

06/10/23 Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège (Liège, BE)
19/11/23 CC Action-Sud (Nismes, BE)
19/04/24 Le ROx (Rouvroy, BE)
20/04/24 Halle du Bouillon Blanc (Bouillon , BE)

Past concerts

11/08/23 Folkfestival Ham (Ham, BE)
17/05/23 Merodefestival ( BE)
11/01/23 Le Stock (La Louvière, BE)
15/10/22 Musica Parola (Sint-Martens-Bodegem, BE)
25/09/22 September me (Amersfoort, NL)
24/06/22 St. Maria im Kapitol Köln (Koln , DE)
17/06/22 Fête de la Musique (Jette, BE)
12/06/22 CC Asse (Asse, BE)
06/06/22 Music Meeting Festival (Nijmegen, NL)
04/04/22 Le Rocher de Palmer (Cenon, FR)
03/04/22 Pauline-Sels-Saal im Romaneum (Neuss, DE)
13/02/22 CC le Sablon (Morlanwelz, Belgique)
12/02/22 De X (Leiden, NL)
25/11/21 La petite Fabriek (Tournai , BE )
16/10/21 CC Muze (Heusden-Zolder, BE)
08/10/21 CC Comines-Warneton (Comines-Warneton , BE)
03/10/21 CC Asse (Asse, BE)
01/10/21 Muziekpublique (Brussles, BE)
05/09/21 Het Koelhuis (Zutphen, NL)
04/09/21 MIMIK (Deventer, NL)
03/09/21 Akoesticum (Ede, NL)
14/08/21 CC Muze (Heusden-Zolder, BE)
13/08/21 Micro Festival! (Dortmund , DE)
08/08/21 CCAS Tour (Pelvezy, FR)
07/08/21 CCAS Tour (Ares - Bassin d'Arcachon , FR)
06/08/21 CCAS Tour (Saint Georges de Didonne , FR)
05/08/21 CCAS Tour (La Rochelle , FR)
04/08/21 CCAS Tour (Chinon, FR)
03/08/21 CCAS Tour (Amboise les Violettes , FR)
01/08/21 CCAS Tour (Dives sur Mer, FR)
31/07/21 CCAS Tour (Auberville, FR)
30/07/21 CCAS Tour (Ponches, FR)
29/07/21 CCAS Tour (Merlimont G , FR)
18/07/21 Open air (Hamm     , DE)
17/07/21 Open air (Gelsenkirchen, DE)
11/07/21 Festival van Kortrijk (Kortrijk, BE)
05/07/21 Handelsbeurs (Gent, BE)
17/06/21 Färberei (Wuppertal, DE)
15/06/21 Pauluskirche (Hamm     , DE)
14/06/21 Marina Rünthe ( Bergkamen, DE)
11/06/21 Bleckkirche (Gelsenkirchen, DE)
08/06/21 Paterskirche Franziskanerkloster (Kempen  , DE)
06/06/21 Hangar 21   (Detmold  , DE)
02/06/21 Jazzschmiede ( Düsseldorf   , DE)
28/05/21 Muziekpublique- Album Release (Brussels , BE)
23/05/21 CC Sint-Niklaas (Sint-Niklaas , BE)
02/05/21 Festival van Kortrijk (Kortrijk , BE)
10/01/21 Beaux-Arts de Lille (Lille, FR)
19/06/20 Bleckkirche (Gelsenkirchen, DE)
18/06/20 Wuppertal (Wuppertal, DE)
17/06/20 Krypta Sankt Michael (Köln, DE)
16/06/20 Lutherkirche (Hamm, DE)
14/06/20 Aula Theodorianum (Paderborn, DE)
08/06/20 Trauzimmer Marina Rünthe (Bergkamen, DE)
03/06/20 Jazzschiemde (Düsseldorf, DE)
01/06/20 Pfingstfestival (Detmold, DE)
08/12/19 Bunderkunst ('s-Heer Arendskerke, NED)
23/11/19 CC Braives-Burdinne (Braives, BE)
22/11/19 CC Escale du Nord (Brussels, BE)
28/09/19 CC Blegny (Blegny, BE)
01/09/19 Basilique d'Avioth ( BE)
21/06/19 KAS (Kapellen, BE)
03/05/19 Bij' De Vieze Gasten (Gent, BE)
27/04/19 Kultuurschuur (Wetteren, BE)
27/03/19 Arsonic (Mons, BE)
23/03/19 Old Roots & New Routes (Amsterdam, NED)
17/03/19 GC De Wildeman (Winksele, BE)
22/02/19 Centro Culturale Candiani (Venise, IT)
02/02/19 Cultuurfabiek (Damme, BE)
27/01/19 Kulturzentrum Alter Schlachthof (Eupen, BE)
23/01/19 deSingel (Antwerpen, BE)
12/01/19 Theater de Garage (Venlo, NL)
09/12/18 Groeten uit Oisterwijk (Oisterwijk , NL)
09/11/18 ProJazz (Den Haag, NL)
21/09/18 CC Ottignies-Louvain-La-Neuve ( BE)
19/09/18 De Leest (Izeghem , BE)
07/09/18 PAS-Festival (Maastricht, NL)
03/09/18 Festival musicale del mediterraneo (Genoa, IT)
25/08/18 Café Le Parc (Liège, BE)
22/08/18 Festival d'Art de Huy (Huy, BE)
05/08/18 Vondelpark Openluchttheater (Amsterdam, NL)
28/07/18 WOMAD Festival (Wiltshire, UK)
20/07/18 Beleuvenissen (Leuven, BE)
07/07/18 Brosella Folk & Jazz Festival (Brussels, BE)
23/06/18 Festival New City Sessions (Roeselare, BE)
28/05/18 Les Octaves de la Musique (Bruxelles, BE)
22/05/18 Belgian World Music Meeting (Brussel, BE)
19/05/18 Les Goûts de Gand (Gent , BE)
21/04/18 Schoon Folk Festival (Genk, BE)
06/04/18 15 years Muziekpublique (Brussels, BE)
13/01/18 La Venerie (Bruxelles, BE)
09/12/17 Maison des Cultures de Saint-Gilles (Bruxelles , BE )
25/11/17 Ferme de la Dîme (Wasseiges, BE)
15/11/17 Vrije Geluiden Live (Utrecht, NL )
05/11/17 Muziekclub ’t Ey Belsele (Belsele, BE)
13/10/17 Muziekpublique (Bruxelles , BE)
04/05/17 Handelsbeurs Concertzaal (Gand , BE)
29/04/17 Chappelle de Verre (Ronquières, BE)


Booking Belgium & international

Lynn Dewitte EN/FR- lynn@muziekpublique.be

Louise Janssens NL- louise@muziekpublique.be


Tel : +32 2 217 26 00

Private file

Tamala concerts kit 52.57 MB 9 downloads