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Manfila was born into a jali family and played balafon and guitar as a child. He joined Les Ballets Africains, moved to Bamako during the '60s and joined the Rail Band, which featured Salif Keita and Mory Kante at the time. He and Keita moved over to Les Ambassadeurs in the early '70s, beginning a fruitful collaborative relationship. Both pursued solo careers in the '80s, with Manfila moving to Paris and recording in both small, traditional groups and big dance…
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