Norwegian triumph at the BBC World Music Awards

Norwegian/Senegalese kora master Solo Cissokho wins the prestigious BBC World Music Awards for his 2002 album Tretakt Takissaba.

Solo Cissokho og Ellika Frisell

Last year saw the renowned Manu Chao winning the BBC World Music Awards for his massive success Boundary Crossing. This year the proud winner of the prestigious awards was (at least partially) Norwegian. Solo Cissokho, who hails from Senegal, took home the World Music Awards with his Tretakt Takissaba album.

Tretakt Takissaba was recorded together with Swedish fiddle player Ellika Frisell after the two met each other at a Senegalese event in Stockholm in 1998. The two had never met or played with each other prior to their scheduled concert – they met for the first time five minutes before hitting the stage. Apparently, something clicked and the duo headed to the studio to record what was to be Tretakt Takissaba.

Solo Cissokho is widely recognised as a master of the kora - a Senegalese string instrument. For years, Cissokho’s artistic aim has been to fuse African griot-tradition with traditional Norwegian folk music – evident on the excellent album Fra Senegal til Setesdal.

Upon learning about the BBC Awards, Cissokho was naturally very pleased: “I had a shock of joy”, says the kora master to the Norwegian Broadcasting Company.

In a comment to the ongoing Iraq-conflict and music’s ability to transcend borders, Cissokho says: Had the world been tuned the way my kora’s strings are, then there would be peace today!


Read BBC's Fiona Talkington's review of Tretakt Takissaba here.

Tretakt Takissaba is released on Swedish label Xource/MNW.

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