was born in 1969 in Mali. His Malinké parents come from a long line of griots. He studied the traditional pentatonic balafon under Zouratié Coulibaly in Mali. From 1986 onwards, he learned to play jazz with the musician Georges Makinto and built his own diatonic balafon, giving him access to new repertoires. His jazz playing experience gave him the opportunity to produce his own music successfully in Africa, Europe and the USA. Then he adapted the balafon for other musical languages, which led him to take part in international meetings.
He played with such prestigious musicians as Pharoah Sanders, Joe Zaniwul, Rhoda Scott and Camel Zekri. The Centre de Formation et de Promotion Musicales de Niamey in Niger asked him to run workshops to teach traditional and modern music between 1989 and 1995. He then started teaching the balafon at the National Superior Institute of Arts and Cultural Affairs (INSAAC) in Abidjan. He recorded disks with Georges Makinto (1992), groups like Béta Foly (1996), African Project (1998), and Hans Lüdemann/Trio Ivoire, and recorded for albums by Paco Séry and Manu Solo.
Aly Keïta takes part in many festivals. For the “Y’a pas son deux” initiative Aly Keïta made the largest balafon in the world for the Ingénieuse Afrique festival held at Tarascon sur Ariège in France, in 1999. He makes his own instruments and gives regular solo concerts.
Jan Galega Brönnimann
born 1969 in Cameroon/Westafrica. Jan Galega Brönnimann works as a freelance musician(saxophones, bass- and contrabassclarinet and electronics) and composer. he has been on the scene for years and is known for his innovative and cutting edge collaborations. as a composer and instrumentalist he has worked with the likes of: kenny werner, eddy floyd, nils petter molvaer, sidsel endresen, william bell, pierre favre, aly keïta, lucas niggli, joy frempong, peter schärli, werner hasler, nadja stoller, ronan skillen, harald haerter, roland philipp, hans feigenwinter, round table knights, baze, nya, moussa cissokho, omri hason, eivind aarset....
he is best known as a frontman with his own band brink man ship. he toured all around the world and played on festivals in asia, north america, russia, africa and europe.
was born in a thunderbolt in 1968, West Kamerun. He lived there before he moved to Switzerland. Today he lives in Uster with his three children, Felix, Gaudenz and Emilia and his partner Annette Meier.
His affinity to Music, especially to percussion instruments, was quite strong at a very young age. Between 1987 and 1995, he played at the experimental New Jazz formation «Kieloor Entartet». The group published three CDs, conquered many stages in diverse countries, formed a not every day orchestra, «ENAO91 and ENAO93», and connected to other artists and composers. After that, Lucas Niggli took charge of the management of the alternative Swiss label «UNIT-Records» until 1998; he was the president of the Swiss Professional Association of Jazz and Improvisation Musicians, SMS, and a long member of the board of the WIM (werkstatt für improvisierte Musik Zurich).
In 1995 he founded the avant-core band «Steamboat Switzerland» with Dominik Blum and Marino Pliakas. More than 150 concerts, 4 cd and 2 vinyl recordings testify to the group’s intense and hard work. «Lucas Niggli’s Zoom» was founded in 1999 (with Nils Wogram And Philipp Schaufelberger) They performed at all of Europe’s big festivals, (Moers, Saalfelden, Willisau, Le Mans) as well n Vancouver and they recorded a first cd in 2001 followed by a CD in 2003. As an extension of this trio, Lucas Niggli created «Big Zoom», a quintet with Claudio Puntin and Peter Herbert as guests, with two releases (Big Ball, Sweat). Since 2002 he plays regularly in the Piano Trio with Jacques Demierre and Barry Guy. Since 1994 Lucas Niggli has played in a variety of different bands with Pierre Favre as his partner. These are, amongst others, «Singing Drums», «European Chamber Ensemble», «The Drummers», as well as a duo.Since 2006 he is composing for and performing with the international Drum Quartet Beat Bag Bohemia (with Kesivan Naidoo (SA), RolandoLamussene (MZ), and Peter Conradin Zumthor (CH). The Duo Black Lotos with chinese Guzheng Player Xu Fengxia is also a long lasting working band, like the Drum Duo Lucas Niggli and Peter Conradin Zumthor. Since 2011 the Trio Biondini - Godard - Niggli with Luciano Biondini and Michel Godard tours extensivly in Europe with two CD Productions for Intakt Records. Since 2013 regulary also in Projects with the Drum Trio Klick with Fritz Hauser and P.C.Zumthor and in a Duo with Swiss Singer Andreas Schaerer.