Mamadou Diabaté (1975- ) was born in Kita, Mali.
The kora is a stringed instrument used extensively in West Africa. A kora typically has 21 strings, which are played by plucking with the fingers. It combines features of the lute and harp.
The kora is built from a large calabash, cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator with a long hardwood neck. The skin is supported by two handles that run underneath it.
Kora players usually come from families and tribes who are traditional historians, genealogists and storytellers and pass their skills on to their descendants. Though played in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso, the instrument was first discovered in the Gambia.