Ismael Kouyate

Ismael & The Radiant Select

Born in Conakry, Guinea into a family of griots and musicians, Ismael Kouyaté began dancing and singing at the age of six. He spent much of his childhood in the Malinke village of Farranah, in upper Guinea.

At age fifteen, Ismael moved to the capitol city of Conakry to pursue his career as a performing artist, and was accepted into the Ballet Communale de Matam, one of the most acclaimed private companies in the city, where he worked for nine years as principal dancer, choreographer, and singer.

In 2000, Ismael was recruited by the National ensemble Les Percussions de Guinea, where he spent three years as the group’s lead dancer and griot. He taught dance and song to international groups visiting Guinea, and traveled to Senegal and France teaching and performing.

In 2003, he was chosen to participate in a trans-continental contemporary dance forum. Ismael later took his talents to the national company, Les Ballets Africains, with whom he toured, performing throughout Guinea and the United States.

Ismael Kouyaté now lives in New York City and went on to make his Broadway debut starring in FELA! It was during his run on Broadway that he was noticed by Beyoncé Knowles, who quickly picked him up to be a featured vocalist on her hit song “Grown Woman”.

Soon after these astounding accomplishments, he followed his true passion of forming his own band. Staying true to his West African roots musically, he blended his joyful, passionate sound with the gritty funk and soul of true New York City musicians, And thus, Ismael & The Radiant Select was born.
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