Djélimady Tounkara is a Malian musician and one of the foremost guitarists in Africa. Born in the culturally rich town of Kita, east of the Malian capital, Bamako, Djélimady grew up surrounded with traditional music played by members of his family. The Tounkaras are Griots, musicians and historians by birth. Djélimady played djembe drum and xalam, a banjo-like lute, as a boy. When he moved to Mali's capital, Bamako, during the 1960s, he had actually planned to work as a tailor. But music proved a stronger calling.