The Songhai project, which took its name from an African kingdom that was invaded by Spanish troops in the 16th century, was formulated by Joe Boyd, producer of albums by Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, R.E.M., and the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices. Their first album, released in 1988, united Ketama and Diabate, who played a 21-stringed kora, with British double bassist Danny Thompson and background vocalists Djanka Diabate and Diaw Kouyate. Six years later, Ketama and Diabate renewed their collaboration to record a follow-up album, Songhai 2, with a much larger band. In addition to flamenco singer Jose Soto, a founding member of Ketama who had left to pursue a solo career, the album featured Malian balafon player Kélétigui Diabaté, Malian ngoni player Basekou Kouyate, double bassist Javier Colina of La Barberia del Sur, violinist Bernardo Parrilla of Joaquin Cortes' group, and flamenco-rhumba vocalist Aurora.
Ketama was featured in Carlos Saura's film Flamencos. Their 2002 offering, Dame La Mano, showcased the group fusing bossa nova, soft fusion, and flamenco. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi