Susso is a collaborative project between the members to the celebrated Suso /Susso and Kuyateh griot (musician and storytellers) families and UK bassist/ producer Huw Bennett. The album ‘Keira’ was released on Soundway Records in Oct 2016. The music is inspired by, and directly samples the magnificent sounds of the Mandinka people, recorded in Gambia, 2013. Initially traveling with the aim to gain perspective as a musician and to discover a new world of music first hand, Huw found himself humbled by such a welcoming community of artists. Huw’s guide and teacher of traditional Mandinka repertoire was Yusupha Suso (who features heavily on the album), son of internationally renowned griot Mawdo Suso and master balafon in his own right.
As a result of the success of ‘Keira’ and to further promote the record and benfit these familes of musicians, Huw decided to form a 6 piece live band, comprising of UK based Mandinka and Wolof musicians from Gambia and Senegal, as well as musicians from the London jazz and electronic music scenes. Together they subtly marry the core Mandinka sounds of the Kora, Balafon, Djembe, Dun Dun with analog synth sounds and weighty Afrobeat grooves. The result is an intense, beautiful and unpredictable live show where each musician is focused on creating this new musical fusion, but remains dedicated to learning and referencing these West African traditions and its repertoire.