Nils Kercher & Ensemble live Essen Foto Kurt Rade 300dpi new small cut web

Nils Kercher & band

SUKU - Your Life is Your Poem

album release tour 2016

The Spell of West Africa and the North

Nils Kercher: vocals, kora / 21-stringed West African harp, balafon, percussion
Oumar Barou Kouyaté (Mali):
ngoni / Malian lute, acoustic guitar, talking drum
Kira Kaipainen (Finland):
vocals, bolong, balafon, percussion
Sue Schlotte (D): cello

guest: Sylvia Laubé (Martinique / France):  vocals, percussion

A sound painter, a storyteller, a seeker of myths. The singer and multi-instrumentalist Nils Kercher is all of these. 

He draws the musical language for his stories from the traditions of West Africa and from the introspective atmosphere of the Nordic landscape. 

He and his international band spread out their treasury of expressive rhythms alongside balafon and the awe-inspiring kora, a twenty-one stringed West African harp. Their "poetic world music" builds into fantastic contrasts while later passing into an almost sacred sound space with a quietly oscillating pulse.

Kira Kaipainen´s soft voice and her gripping lyrics blend seamlessly with Nils´ broad ranging repertoire of timbres. 

The ngoni virtuoso Barou Kouyaté, a long-term member of the band led by his world-famous uncle Bassekou Kouyaté, brings an earthy colour to the texture. His acoustic guitar accentuates Kercher´s melodic kora with great sensitivity and groove. These two artists - coming from very different backgrounds - share a natural and organic dialogue.

Sue Schlotte´s innovative cello style travels from rhythmic effects to classically melodic lines and overtones similar to a Malian violin.
Martinique singer Sylvia Laubé, who has formally been sharing the stage with Rokia Traore, Angelique Kidjou and Papa Wemba, joins in smoothly to create the harmonious and rich choirs the listener finds throughout the concert. 

Kercher´s achievement is to successfully merge the lyrical, refined aspect of his compositions with his passion for rhythm and energy. The songs feel like a cycle of verses that leave you enchanted long after the music has faded away.


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Nils Kercher and his ensemble were fascinating .... simple, deeply noticeable authenticity of an ensemble whose individual inspiration very visibly contributed to the moment on the instruments and the interaction. Improvisational elements, as known from Jazz, brief virtuoso passages, textured sounds that would be suitable to inspire composers such as Ludevico Einaudi, and then the deep drum beats that reverberate in the belly .... everything fused into unique and strange yet very appealing music that erupted from one breath to the next from filigree lightness into thrilling drama." Badische Neueste Nachrichten


"An inspiring example of what world music can be ... stirring, poignant ....  highly charged atmosphere in the hall”    Neue Westfälische Zeitung

"Powerful, meditative and tremendously poetic, the ensemble tells the stories of people and myths, of landscapes and sensuous listening"  
Nürnberger Zeitung

Nils Kercher poetic world music live foto credit kurt rade

“brilliant world music” Rocktimes / Germany


"The concert let the time stand still for two hours"” General-Anzeiger Bonn


“A world-class, musical free spirit who has no equal" Musikreviews


"Dense and excitingly varied sound ... virtuoso kora player ...  Songs [...] that immediately sweep the listener away [...] A bridge between cultures" Deutschland Radio Kultur