Cheick Amadou Tidiane Seck was born in 1953 in Segou, Mali. After classes at the National Institute of Arts in Bamako, Cheick Tidiane Seck joined in the 1970s the famous Super Rail Band of Bamako as a pianist. In this prestigious ensemble, he meets the singers Mory Kanté and Salif Keita. Nicknamed Che Guevara because of his political opinions, Cheick Tidiane Seck knows some problems with the military junta then in power. At the end of the decade, Cheick Tidiane Seck leaves for Abidjan in Ivory Coast, and adds guitar and singing to his panoply.
As an accomplished musician, Cheick Tidiane Seck followed Salif Keita and the Ambassadors in Paris in 1985. Cheick Tidiane Seck soon became a figure in the world fusion scene in full development. Wanted pianist, he plays with Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Cliff, Carlos Santana, Joe Zawinul, or Randy Weston. Cheick Tidiane Seck travels between Paris, Mali, and the United States where he gives master classes at UCLA in addition to his performances in concert and studio.
Habib Koité (Bambara: Habib Kuwate, born 1958 in Thiès, Senegal) is a Malian musician, singer, songwriter based in Mali. His band, Bamada, is a supergroup of West African musicians, which included Kélétigui Diabaté on balafon until his death in 2012
Koité is known primarily for his unique approach to playing the guitar by tuning it on a pentatonic scale and playing on open strings as one would on a kamale n'goni. Other pieces of his music sound more like the blues or flamenco which are two styles he learned under Khalilou Traore.
Koité's vocal style is intimate and relaxed, emphasizing calm, moody singing rather than operatic technical prowess. Members of Bamada play talking drum, guitar, bass, drum set, harmonica, violin, calabash, and balafon. Koité composes and arranges all songs, singing in English, French, and Bambara.