The West African country of Mali has produced some great musicians. But as they age, people have wondered who'll step forward from the next generation. The big answer to that seems to be Habib Koité, who comes from the Khassonké griot tradition, that's the hereditary caste of musicians, but whose eyes are firmly on the future. Born in 1958, his lineage made music a part of his life and it was in order to accompany his mother's singing that he taught himself to play guitar, showing enough ability on the instrument that he was accepted at the National Institute of Arts (NIA) -- remaining there four years after his graduation in 1982 to teach guitar. From his early days, he hasn't played just in the standard Western tuning, but also traditional Malian tunes to make his instrument mimic the traditional n'goni (a four-string lute) and kamele n'goni, or young man's harp, with six strings, giving a richness and native texture to his work. Being at NIA afforded him the opportunity to play with some of the country's top musicians, including the likes of kora giant Toumani Diabaté.