sat 18/08/2018

Mali

CD: Songhoy Blues - Music in Exile

Songhoy Blues, a punchy guitar band with roots on the edge of the desert, take the downhome country sounds of Ali Farka Toure, Afel Bocoum and Sidi Toure and give them a high-octane dose of urban urgency. They don’t just play those mesmerising Sahel...

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CD: Africa Express Presents... Terry Riley's In C

If humanity first emerged in Africa, so did music, that’s for sure. The continent provides an endless reservoir of sounds and rhythms that have fed into blues, gospel, rock and jazz and influenced musical culture the world over. Not surprising...

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Kasse Mady Diabate, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre

Kassé Mady Diabaté is one of the great singers of West Africa, a member of Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra and, more recently, the Afrocubism all-star line-up. His latest album Kiriké (Horse’s Saddle) on the Parisian No Format label is a...

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CD: Kassé Mady Diabaté - Kiriké

In reaching out to audiences beyond the African context, Malian musicians and singers have adopted performance styles that don’t always reflect the intimacy and personal communication so fundamental to the praise-singing at the heart of the region’s...

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CD: Tinariwen - Emmaar

On seeing that new Tinariwen album, Emmaar, had been recorded at Joshua Tree (due to ongoing security problems in their native Mali) with a number of American guest musicians, my heart sank. I imagined some special guest-heavy yet artistically...

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Prom 54: World Routes

Why are the Malians always punching way above their weight in music? There may be some historical reasons. The French always were more welcoming to the culture of their empire than the Brits (and more used to foreign-language music), while Paris...

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theartsdesk in Zanzibar: The Nightingale Still Sings

A crowd of men and younger women in full burkahs gathers, bewildered by the sight: an African woman, in West African “Mumu” (khaftan) and a covered head, playing Ghazals (Islamic calls to prayer). Accompanied by an acoustic guitar, a clear voice,...

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theartsdesk in Mali: Creation, Conservation and Restoration

Timbuktu, the legendary "End of the World", does actually exist, and as everyone now knows, it's in Mali. It has just been thrust into the world’s focus after its recent liberation from the Al Qaeda-linked extremists who have occupied the north of...

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Interview: Bassekou Kouyaté, Mali maestro

A couple of weeks ago on BBC’s Question Time one of the pundits airily commented that until recently no-one in the audience would have heard of Bamako, the capital of Mali. That wouldn’t be the case were there any world music fans there – for them,...

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Salif Keita, Royal Festival Hall

The only time the great Malian singer spoke at any length to last night’s audience was when he said, “I don’t know my birthday. I don’t know the day or the year. So any day can be my birthday. So can you please stand up and dance for my birthday.”...

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Sahara Soul, Barbican Hall

Bassekou Kouyaté’s ngoni looks like a real bugger to play. Its hollow body is the size and shape of a child’s cricket bat and its rounded fretless neck is thinner than that of a broomstick. It’s a mystery how anyone gets a note out of this ancestor...

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The Arts Desk Radio Show 7

The seventh radio show from theartsdesk features a wealth of eclectic music, from grime to Bach, while Joe Muggs and Peter Culshaw discuss everything from French café culture of the Fifties to sub-Saharan politics in the Sudan and northern Mali....

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