Kimi Djabaté was raised in Tabato, Guinea-Bissau, a village known for its griots, hereditary singer-poets whose songs of praise and tales of history and legends play an essential role in West Africa's music and social life. Centuries ago, Kimi's ancestors, a wandering troupe of musicians from Mali, traveled to the region. The king of Guinea so loved their songs he invited them to stay and offered them the territory of Tabato. A griot by birth, Kimi has been playing the balafón, the African xylophone, since he was just three years old, and learned to play many other traditional instruments over time. In 1994, Kimi toured Europe as a member of the national music and dance ensemble of Guinea-Bissau, and he decided to settle in Lisbon, Portugal. In Europe, Kimi has collaborated with many exceptional musicians, including Mory Kanté, Waldemar Bastos, Netos de Gumbé and others.
The first release of the Cumbancha Discovery series, Kimi Djabaté’s Karam blends guitar, percussion and balafón (African xylophone) into an accessible melodic and acoustic sound.