Leni Stern is in the 25th year of her career as a recording artist, and with her latest 2010 release “a Belle Belle Ba” she continues to define herself as a genre-bending master guitarist and timely songwriter. Ms. Stern established her vocal and guitar abilities in jazz, rock, and folk while more recently drawing upon studies and collaborations from her international travels to such places as Kenya, India, Mali, Madagascar and Senegal. Having been awarded the Gibson Guitar’s Female Jazz Guitarist of the Year for five consecutive years, Ms. Stern has also been acknowledged for her songwriting talents by the International Songwriting Competition with 2009’s Honorable Mention in the world music category. In 2005 Ms. Stern traveled to northern Mali to participate in the Festival in the Desert. It was here that she was introduced to master musicians Bassekou Kouyate and his wife singer Ami Sacko who later joined Ms. Stern in an UNESCO Global Alliance project at Salif Keita’s Bamako Studio, Moffou. Immediately falling in love with the music, the people and the country, Ms. Stern would return to Mali for the better part of two years, fully immersing herself in the griot tradition.