Ensemble Instrumental de Guinée
The Ensemble Instrumental was created in January 1961 under the President Ahmed Sekou Touré. When Guinea gained their independence from French colonisation, the musical culture of Guinea went through a major transformation. Through a program called Authenticité, the president supported the creation of regional orchestras in Guinea that brought together the best of the musicians from the various ethnic groups (Sousou, Fulah, Malinké), and the griots (Malinké) were the leaders of those orchestras. In the capital, Conakry, they formed a national ensemble, the symbol of Guinea's cultural pride. In the early years, Sory Kandia Kouyaté was an instrumental figure in the Ensemble creation, and his lead balafonist, El Hadj Djeli Sory Kouyaté, (Famoro Dioubaté grandfather) was his
right hand man. The early renditions of the Ensemble National, as well as the Ballets Africains, and Jazz ensembles like Bembeya Jazz, among other West African groups, toured the world, and gaining recognition for West African countries. 50 Years later, Sory Kandia's son, Sékouba Kandia Kouyaté, has become the Director of the Ensemble Instrumental. He maintains the spirit of the Ensemble Instrumental in the musical instruments (balafon, bolon, ngoni) and maintains the message in the music: to educate and uplift humanity to their greatest potential.
In December 2022, Sekouba Kandia Kouyaté, the director of the Ensemble Instrumental of Guinea met with Manding Grooves members Lisa Feder and Famoro Dioubate to discuss his wish to bring the Ensemble to Europe and the United States, to collaborate with reputable music groups such as symphony orchestras, smaller classical ensembles, jazz groups, hip-hop artists who sing positive messages.