Last updated: 14 january, 2010 - 16:12 GMT

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba

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Bassekou Kouyate and his band Ngoni Ba made one of the best received African albums of 2009. "I Speak Fula", released in September followed the hugely successful 2007 Segu Blue album.

Through his music, Bassekou and his band have breathed new life into Ngoni playing.

The traditional string instrument made of wood or calabash with animal skin stretched across it was always played sitting down on stage.

Bassekou and his band changed that, strapping the Ngonis over their shoulders like guitars and bringing the instruments to the front of the stage.

Bassekou and Ngoni Ba headlined on Friday night at the Festival of the Desert.

We made contact with him on Saturday and he invited us to come to where he and his band were staying in Timbuktu to film an unplugged performance in the more traditional style.

Again, we found ourselves racing the setting sun, trying to get the performance recorded before the light failed us.

We borrowed his neighbour's rooftop and Bassekou Kouyate, his wife Amy Sacko, Calabash player Alou Coulibaly and Ngoni bassplayer Moussa Bah performed this beautiful version of "Jonkoloni" from the album Segu Blue.

More timbuktu sessions

  • Musicians from the bands Terakafte, Taliwen and Amanar perform at the festival of the Desert

    WatchDuration: 05:02

  • Singing and playing guitar on Nebe N'makoun with Ché Ché Dramé and Kabiné Kouyaté.

    WatchDuration: 05:14

  • Footage from the 2010 Festival of the Desert held close to Timbuktu.

    WatchDuration: 02:54

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