HAVING recorded and played alongside the likes of Bono, Sinead O’Cinnor, Jackson Brwone, The Chieftains, Willie Nelson, Nigel Kennedy and Shane MacGowan, button accordion player Sharon Shannon is hitting the road with her band and special guest kora maestro Seckou Keita arriving at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts on Wednesday 12 June.

A former member of The Waterboys, Sharon’s twelve studio albums to date have mixed traditional Irish music with reggae, country, Native American, bluegrass, rap, dance, African and French Canadian styles. With multi-platinum album sales she has achieved several chart topping albums, singles and DVDs.

Since her debut album became Ireland’s biggest selling record by a traditional artist she has entertained US Presidents Clinton at the White House and Obama in Dublin as well as Irish Presidents Robinson and MacAleese on visits to Poland and Australia respectively. She recently accompanied Irish president Michael D Higgins on his official tour of China.

Appearing with Sharon Shannon and her band, Seckou Keita is arguably the most influential and inspiring kora player of his generation. An exceptional and charismatic musician, griot (praise singer), composer, djembe master, virtuoso and pioneer, Seckou Keita firmly seats his music in tradition while constantly pushing the boundaries of his art.

A true master of the kora – a 22-stringed West African harp – Seckou, who hails from the ancient kingdom of Gabou in Southern Senegal, was a childhood prodigy, born of a line of griots and kings. Cissokho, his mother’s family name, gave life to his talent; Keita, his father’s, gave him royal blood.

Having graced the international stage since 1996, he has appeared with a host of respected artists including Salif Keita, Paul Weller, Bassekou Kouyate, Damon Alban and the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, Youssou N’Dour, Miriam Makeba and Neil Finn. His collaboration with Welsh harpist Catrin Finch resulted in the award-winning album Clychau Dibon and its much anticipated follow up Soar.