The Kennedy Center

Sousou and Maher Cissoko


Swedish/Senegalese couple Sousou and Maher Cissoko share a destiny shaped by music. Sousou grew up in southern Sweden and fell in love with the kora, a western African stringed instrument, when her father started playing with the Gambian griot Alagie Mbye in the early 1990s. Maher Cissoko was born into a well-known griot family from Casamance, Senegal, and learned to play the kora at an early age. Winners of the “Best Newcomer” prize at the 2010 Swedish Folk and World Music Gala and “Band of the Year” in 2011, the group’s music combines a variety of styles, influences, and techniques taken from diverse backgrounds and travels. Sousou and Maher’s latest album, Stockholm-Dakar, mixes traditional West African and Swedish music, spiced with pop, reggae, mbalax, and a pinch of hip hop.

This presentation is supported by Music Development & Heritage Sweden.
Nordic Cool 2013 is presented in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Presenting Underwriter
HRH Foundation

Festival Co-Chairs
The Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, and Barbro Osher

Major support is provided by the Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Mrs. Marilyn Carlson Nelson and Dr. Glen Nelson, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, David M. Rubenstein, the State Plaza Hotel, and the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.

Watch Past Performances

Video 10/17/2013: Sousou & Maher Cissoko (Sweden)

The Cissokos weave together movement, rhythms, stories, and singing with music played on the kora—a 22-stringed West African harp. Part of Kids Euro Festival 2013.

Sousou & Maher Cissoko