Things you didn’t know about Cheick Tidiane ...

Things you didn’t know about Cheick Tidiane Seck-AfroJazz International pianist

Malian-born renowned pianist and singer Cheick Tidiane Seck performed during the Safaricom Jazz Festival on May 1st during the International Jazz Day celebrations and gave an electrifying performance together with Ivorian drummer Paco Séry that left Nairobians yearning for more.

Here are some facts about Cheick Tidiane Seck that you probably did not know.

Tidiane was born in 1952 in Mali, he loved music from a young age. He and wanted to pursue the career, but his mum urged him to go to school in Sikasso region (Mali)where he studied art and specialized in painting.

As a young man, he fought against the Malian military and was arrested and imprisoned three times

His mother, who was born in 1902 was his first source of music inspiration. She was a singer and gave birth to Tidiane at the age of 50, she never wanted any of her music recorded. Tidiane reckons that there was a lot of similarity between her mother’s voice and texture to that one of Aretha Franklin’s.

He fled Mali from in 1978 with Salif Keita and went Ivory Coast. It was during that time when he played with renowned bands from other West African countries. He performed in Ghana,Burkina Faso,The Gambia,Senegal Sierra Leone, and other West African countries.He stayed in Ivory Coast for six years.

In 1983, He left with Salif Keita for France for a series of international shows that happened across Europe. He then went back to Mali for two years to perform in different West African bands.

He officially went back and settled to France in 1985 and has lived there to date.

While in France he performed, and arranged music for ionic music legends like Jimmy Cliff, Youssou N’Dour amongst others.

He describes the music he plays as Afro Jazz. This is because the music is inspired by Africa with a jazz touch.

He is a visiting professor at UCLA and lectures on the relationship between Jazz and African music.

He initiated Jam sessions in New York that saw the likes of Jay-Z and other hip-hop lovers attend. It was around this time that he got working with the Black Eyed Peas. He is also part of The Gorillaz, has worked with Steve wonders, and Carlos Santana and many others.

Tidiane is referred to as Black Buddha outside Africa by his fans

He is about to release tribute album for Randy Weston featuring Manu Dibango. The name of the album will be called Timbuktu.

He has lost count of the countries he has visited before. However he points out that he has not been to China and Australia. It was his first time to visit Kenya ever to celebrate 2019’s International Jazz Day.


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