Bassekou Kouyatehad barely played a note on his first day in a studio in Bamako, the capital of Mali, when gunshots were heard in the distance. The military coup that took place in March 2012 led to the jihadists introducing Sharia law in northern Mali, complete with a ban on music. This was unacceptable to Bassekou Kouyate. He turned the volume up even higher and strummed his ngoni, a West African ancestor of the banjo, on which Bassekou is a master. Jama Ko, the album that rolled out of the studio, proved once again the incredible power and richness of Malian music. Bassekou's band mainly comprises equally talented members of his family: his sons play the ngoni and his wife has a wonderful voice. Live on stage the band is a whirlwind of sound bursting with soul, blues and uplifting rhythms.