Tag Archives: Mali

Toumani Diabaté’s Symmetric Orchestra – Mali Sadio : Mali Song of the Week

Quite a tragic choice of song considering this week’s subject matter. The music itself is triumphant, relentless – a Malian griot’s response to “We Will Rock You” but with Freddie Mercury’s half-rap substituted for cascading, whirling, soaring kora, spellbinding vocals with that stadium-thumping beat. Triumphant is definitely the spirit of today as the music world celebrates the symbolic importance and the outright splendour of Bamako’s first major international music festival since le crise in 2012 – the Festival Acoustik de Bamako.

But why tragic? Well that lies in the tale of ‘Mali Sadio’, an old Malian story passed down generations through oral traditions. It details the friendship (borderlind love affair, in some versions) between a woman and a hippopotamus. A hunter, becoming infatuated with the woman, kills her friend the hippo, but – unsurprisingly – finds her not more amiable than before. Disastrously for the woman’s village, it turns out that the hippo was doing a very good job of keeping the dangers of the natural world away – a security now lost and terror ensues. The moral of the story: “the selfish actions of a single person bring pain and hardship on many others“.

Bamako knows plenty about that. So perhaps the story is fitting – a celebration, a mass outpouring of delight between peoples when they find music, their “guardian hippo” (I am sure that’s a thing), alive and well. In fact, its full of youth and life with rap stars and local talent . The festival was masterminded by Toumani Diabaté, organised by Fatoumata Sow, and championed by Culture Minister N’Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo. Minister Diallo explains that Mali’s music is its chief export its “our oil”. It is also more than that its the best channel Mali has open to the world to say “hey, we’re here. We are still living”. Its a brave shout with an official State of Emergency enduring. Anyone who is anyone in Malian music seemed to have been there. Associated musicians and collaborators too – like Derek Gripper, Tony Allan,  and Damon Albarn – ‘defied terrorism threats‘ to be there, the former using his classical guitar skills to emulate in tribute to Diabaté’s exceptional kora. Of course, Toumani Diabaté is top of the pile and thus unemulatable – if you want to bathe in his majesty you have to go to the man himself, hence this week’s choice. A choice that certainly wants to bring attention to Diabaté’s lesser known work with his Symmetric Orchestra who headlined the Festival’s Friday line-up.

The people of Bamako will be delighted to have the State of Emergency swapped for a state of euphoria – albeit temporarily. The sense of normality with people out in the streets, enjoying the music, with international stars and media coming and going safely is far more significant. Bamako and the world has obviously enjoyed the success of the occasion. But what of the rest of Mali? Inclusiveness was emphasised in the event’s organisation – artists from the north were there but none of them Toureg, apparently. This suggests that despite the best efforts of  Mali’s heroes, its people, its government, and the world – the country remains fractured, inaccessible and frayed. Not helplessly, but simply still. 

The festival has to be taken for what it is. A great leap forward. An oasis in an conflict that still has no end in sight. An expression of unity, peace and communal joy counter to those selfish acts that have brought so much pain and hardship to ordinary people all over Mali.

 

 

Toumani Diabaté’s Symmetric Orchestra – Mali Sadio

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Djelimady Tounkara – Fanta Bourama: Mali Song of the Week

Song Of The Week? On a Friday?!

Yes – apologies for the delay. But trust me, this one is worth the wait. Boggled that Tounkara’s acoustic-guitar spectacular hadn’t been a SOTW already, it was time to set the record straight. It is equally astonishing that a man of such accolade has only been plucked out once to provide our weekly musical highlight.

All of that changes today with ‘Fanta Bourama’, the opening track of both his 2011 album ‘Solon Kono‘ and the highly enjoyable complication disc ‘The Rough Guide to African Guitar Legends‘. The song’s opening realises a bridge between Morocco and Spain – a structure which in engineering terms remains a fantasy yet is a long-time cultural reality. Each pluck of a string strips down to that quintessential Mediterranean sound, fusing two continents together in that ever-rolling exchange initiated by the Berbers with their invasion of Spain nearly 1300 years ago.

Tounkara, a member of Mali’s prestigious and ground-breaking Rail Band, has added his own magic to the mix. The Rail Band exemplified the West African 1970s affinity for Iberian, Cuban and Latin music. Tounkara’s supreme talent with an acoustic guitar made him the best equipped to delve deep into this world and allowed him to emerge with the most exquisite results. It was a great shame then that he was unable to take up his invitation to join the gathering musical grandmasters in Cuba in that super-group which was to become the Buena Vista Social Club.

Not that he needed it. So busy collaborating, inventing and performing was Tounkara he only got round to producing his first studio album in 2001, producing several others since. With ‘oversight’ being the surprise theme of the week, each of these gifts to the world will be meticulously combed from now on. You can be sure to hear some more of his gems before long.

 

Djemilady Tounkara – Fanta Bourama

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Rokia Traoré – Kèlè Mandi: Mali Song of the Week

A song of immense beauty tops the bill this week as we delve into the depths of Rokia Traore’s earlier work. ‘Kèlè Mandi’ hails from her third studio album ‘Bowmboï’ released in 2003. Justifying their choice for making its Album of the Year, BBC Radio 3 highlighted the view that ‘Bowmboï’ represented “a defining release for an artist who must now be considered world class”.  The real delight in the album is not the racy, high-energy music that Mali is more commonly associated; instead “it’s in the slower pieces where the production allows detail to shine – as in her use of vocal harmonies…and constantly surprising little instrumental colours.”

‘Kèlè Mandi’ is a delicate master-piece that allows us to hear each of those features in perfect balance. The guitar flowing alongside the vocals, which flutter and climb with a gentle strength. It makes the song electrifying, yet relaxing, like a lone tenor in the majesty of a cathedral. But it is more earthy and colourful than that.

Traore is a true realisation of that famous phrase: that form is temporary and class is permanent. Fast-forward to today and she is still going strong, perhaps stronger and wiser than ever. She is in London this week, performing at the Roundhouse on February 6th ahead of the release of her new album ‘Ne So’ on February 12th. Confessing not to be overtly political, Traoré explains in a separate interview – back at the BBC on January 27th – that the title track of the album, which means “home”, is “an invitation to think about the idea of ‘home’.” She continues saying that we forget that having somewhere to call home “is the basis of all in life …and when you understand the importance of home, you can understand the problem for people who have suddenly have no home” referring to the appalling situation of millions of refugees from Africa and the Middle-East. Pressing the issue she stresses the point that when you fully consider a refugee’s position in this way it becomes so clear that they “are not animals, they are humans.”

When confronted with someone who sings in multiple languages it is not often possible (unless you are very brainy)  to follow the exact meaning of each of their songs, especially when they tackle complex issues like the one above. But there is another, much more simple way of at least getting an idea of what she wishes to convey – simply tune into the abundant warmth , colour and staggering emotion in her music.

 

 

Rokia Traoré – Kèlè Mandi

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Habib Kioté – N’Ba : Mali Song of the Week

Its been two months since the Radisson Blu Hotel attack in Bamako where at least 20 people were killed. Among the dead were three executives from the international arm of the China Railway Construction Corporation. Why were these Chinese citizens there and what does this tell us about China’s interests in Africa? Firstly, a bit of back-story: China and Mali have just completed a deal to completely revolutionise international rail travel in the Sahel by building a 1286km railway to Dakar the port capital city of Senegal. There is also a project tabled to build another line to another port city – Conakry in Guinea. These two projects come with a cost of a whopping $10 billion (reflecting for a moment that Mali’s entire GDP for 2014 was $12.04 billion). It represents a significant investment to say the least. China is thirsty for resources,  Mali is desperate to sell them. What is needed is an efficient way to get them from one country to the other – China needs this railway as much as Mali does.

Should this be celebrated overtly or cautiously? Its no doubt that a splash of modern infrastructure is a good thing. However, many have warned of a growing Chinese imperialism – China using its dominance economically in an exploitative manner. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has assured that cooperation across Africa would not “take the old road by traditional powers” nor “sacrifice Africa’s environment and long-term interests”. We’ve heard that one before, and raises another question about the complicity of Mali’s own elite; is it the everyday Malian that will benefit from or bear the cost of this arrangement? How much choice does a struggling country like Mali have? Often the case is made that it is necessary, or even preferable, to short-cut some democratic processes to allow the sweeping changes need to ‘eradicate’ poverty. This article argues that is a false choice. Jan Abbink from The Broker Online explains:

“Apart from the morally questionable aspects in this line of thinking, there is considerable doubt about the approach’s long-term effects. Also scientifically, it is dubious. There is no significant evidence that hardline authoritarian rule in development will be durable or that it will provide social cohesion.”

He continues, clarifying that:

“Of course neither is there significant evidence that democratic models guarantee growth and stability, especially not in multi-ethnic countries. Skewed economic policies, exclusivism and unfairness in the distribution of ‘resources’, non-transparent, non-representational politics, and phantom justice systems will, at some point, inevitably create emergent protests, social movements, resistance or silent sabotage among the population not getting a good deal.”

In the case of Mali, we already have resistance and a not-so-silent sabotage from a population perceivably not getting a good deal. We also have the spectre of international militant groups and their splintered associates to contend with. The issue in Mali is not exclusively developmentalist, but also a global security matter which China’s bulging economic demands are rubbing up against increasingly. Harry Verhoeven of the University of Oxford observes that ” the PRC is slowly but surely giving up its controversial policy of non-interference. This is not so much the product of a carefully considered foreign policy shift as it is a logical response to both acute security crises on the [African] continent in recent years and China’s re-emergence as a global power with ever greater interests, ever further afield.” This shift, which has staggering implications for the rest of the planet, has lead to one commentator to declare that China is on “a collision course” with ISIS, providing particular detail on the scale of China’s dependence on its investments in the developing world coming good and ISIS’s own efforts to target China.

With so much at stake, has China visably changed its behaviour in response to a  deteriorating security situation? China had already broken new ground in regards to its approach to peacekeeping opertaions before the Radisson attack. This article even argued ahead of time that China’s cautious attitude “might change overnight if an attack on Chinese companies or civilians takes place in the region”. It is always interesting to see when the economic interests of a superpower are threatened, logisitical issues across Africa become a solvable issue – of course, only when resources and materials are moving out of Africa. Getting things in, trivial things like humanitarian aid and essential relief to those suffering today is another story. Professor Ian Taylor from the University of St Andrews comments on this wider trend in Africa. He writes that “the fundamental problem facing Africa is governance…” adding “it doesn’t matter how many roads or ports” you have. Indeed, Alessandra Dentice, the deputy representative of Unicef, says her agency’s efforts are being frustrated by “the lack of government personnel in certain areas”. Getting the country secure and governed correctly in a more holistic way, more than just closing up porous borders and managing to keep a railway open, is required.

We must fear that instead of the country being rebuilt, it will simply be hollowed out.

 

Habib Kioté – N’Ba

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Yacouba Sissoko Band – Chanson Denko Tapestry

Track 8 from the 2013 album Maison des Jeunes, Yacouba Sissoko and his band bring a feast of percussion to this collaboration compilation. The musicians on the album were a real range of characters. Songhoy Blues did their début European performance in London at the album’s launch party, with producers Damon Albarn and Brian Eno present to help things along. British artists Ghostpoet and Metronomy were also involved not only in the production of the album but in nurturing the talent that were lucky enough to get a foot in the door. It was an important moment for the Malian music industry, but also for the British scene too. Bands like Songhoy Blues have become astonishingly popular in UK hipster circles, along with other West African superstars like Ebo Taylor and Fela Kuti. Rarely can an evening out go by in the bars of East London or Peckham without 1970s Ghanian Funk making an appearance. Well, at least in the places I hang out…

The Sissoko Band track is fairly unconventional for a Malian peice.  It has that familiar mesmerising rhythm, but its the drums that take the lead, with the ngonis yielding to their pace and melodies. Its a dance, perhaps even a duel. They flicker, twist and turn together, endlessly keeping pace. One unknown element is the title; does anyone know what the Chanson Denko Tapestry is?

Yacouba Sissoko Band – Chanson Denko Tapestry

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Nahawa Doumbia – Sadjo

Today’s marks the first appearance of Wassoulou singer Nahawa Doumbia, joining a prestigious club of singers from the region already to appear on the Hub over the past two years; Oumou Sangare easily being the most famous. Wassoulou singers are strongly associated with traditional Malian music. Ever popular with Mali’s people, it is primarily the domain of women and though traditional, its not the preserve of the conservative. Sangare is anything but conventional and artists like Issa Bagayogo have cleverly deployed their striking, soaring vocals into his chilled-out Afro-electro. An excellent blend. Doumbia pulls off a similarly exceptional mix. With deep, pulsing jazz-keys forging the base of the track, ‘Sajdo’ incorporates the kora and a lyrical, poetic genre of singing.

If fact the whole of the album ‘Diby’ is very experimental and worth a listen. Male chorus, percussion from every era, bafalon jams, jazz bass, rumbling keys, bouncing acoustics, ripping guitar solos and a beautiful range of vocals provided by a dynamic and delightful woman.

 

Nahawa Doumbia – Sadjo

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Sidi Touré – Maïmouna

“I found them more stupid than evil” wrote Nicolas Hénin in summary of his thoughts on Isis. Held captive by them for 10 months he notes what he has seen of them beyond their polished propaganda – pathetic street kids drunk on ideology and power. He adds “That is not to understate the murderous potential of stupidity”.

The attacks in Paris this weekend past were horrid. The numbers of dead and injured, photos of devastation, comments from family, friends and from far-flung strangers acting in solidarity have been well-publicised. In-between feelings of disbelief, people all over the world tried to make sense of it all. What would be an appropriate response individually and for France, in war and in mourning? Who are they, and why did they do it? Even trivial questions like ‘should the football still go ahead?’ gripped headlines. And thankfully the football did (at least in England) as even Clive Tyldesley – commentator for ITV Sport on yesterday’s emotive England v France game – managed to spare the errant sensationalism to contextualise events in a wider misery. Immediately before the “perfectly observed” minute silence he placed Paris alongside cities in Nigeria, Lebanon and Kenya – drawing viewers attention to the fact that events in Paris were high-profile but unfortunately did not stand alone.

Cities in Mali are in the same club. Bound to other places of civilian slaughter around the world. How many of these received the same response at Paris and why does that matter? Much has been said about the bias in the media, especially Facebook, in the past few days. Just about everyone knows that Facebook has algorithms that prioritise certain bits of information. Buzz words, headlines. All promoted and bumped up by sponsors. But Facebook has taken certain decisions that appear to favour western tragedies over others, which is slightly different, and will apparently change in future due to the outrage. Despite this, Malian’s still found their way to express their solidarity online, Songhoy Blues among them – the band being in Paris at the time. Many frequently expressed the sense of a favour-owed following the French military intervention in 2013. Will the war in Mali remain ‘forgotten‘ or will this provoke renewed focus on a country that appears to be slipping back to widespread violence?

From reading exceptional actions of individuals on Friday evening and the following day we are reminded of the actions of Lassana Bathily, the young Malian man who protected a group of frightened shoppers from the assault at the Parisian Kosher supermarket back in January. Can we expect everyone to be exceptional in these circumstances? Perhaps its transforming the global interconnected mourning and outrage into meaningful action that would be a more reasonable expectation. Its all of us acting together in a small way that makes the bigger difference, which makes the message highlighted in last week’s Song of the Week even more pertinent. In light of events since it is probably worth reviewing.

 

Sidi Touré – Maïmouna

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Ballaké Sissoko – Badjourou

People of Oxford! If there are any of you out there with a Socials - Oxford (1)spare evening tonight then head on to the Phoenix Picturehouse at 6pm for your opportunity to see ‘They Will Have to Kill Us First‘ the film about Mali’s fearless, insatiable musicians that won’t give up their country without a fight. With an original score, its a must see for any Malian music lover. Not to be missed.

For those not in and around Oxford do not fret. As well as a list of other screenings there are other things to keep your senses entertained. On the Hub we are particularly fond of pleasing your ears and as well as this stunning piece of music from kora-mastermind Ballaké Sissoko you could also turn your attention to the latest instalment of Melvyn Bragg’s ‘In Our Time’ on the Empire of Mali – a fascinating and wholly under-appreciated period of history. Mali’s Empire at its pinnacle was as big as southern Europe and according to the show was the biggest African empire ever.

If you don’t have 45 minutes spare to listen to the show now UK listeners can download the conversation to listen to later or whilst out and about. Due to its relative obscurity as a historical topic, the first task of the gathered academics is to get the listener up to speed with the scale and majesty of this Empire – no easy task. For some details there is simply no comparison with any other point in history. The language makes it impossible to imagine anything other than gleaming stacks of gold, great armies, riches in textiles, architecture and jewellery. And not just these material goods, but also the authority of grandeur in science, the arts and religion; all oozing control and command for the Empire’s ruling class to wield. The strumming and plucking of Sissoko in ‘Badjourou’ harks to a medieval royal court. The steady march, the flowing and insatiable beauty. Untold luxury in the desert – for 2000km from the Atlantic to the heart of Africa. For 400 years.

 

Ballaké Sissoko – Badjourou

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Fatoumata Diawara & Amine Bouhafa – Fasso

Since the release of the film ‘They Will Have to Kill Us First” I have come to realise that another great film had managed to be released earlier this year with as much as a blink from the Hub. The film ‘Timbuktu‘ is an ‘insightful drama about a family and a city shattered by bigotry and violence‘. It was remarkably well received world-wide, even nominated for an Oscar in February this year. No, not for Best Original Score but instead for Best Foreign Language Film.

The combined work between Diawara and Tunisian composer Bouhafa has produced an inspiring title song. It is true to the message of the film that the soaring-strength of Diawara’s voice is used as its central musical theme. To quote Peter Bradshaw’s review:

“Islamist zealots are shown shooting gazelles with AK-47s – a powerful image of predatory crassness to which the film ultimately circles back – and also destroying masks and statues, including a statue of a fertility goddess. They are stamping on harmless pleasures like music and football, and throwing themselves with cold relish into lashings and stonings for adultery. The suppression and control of women is shown as a key part of this new order: an unending hate campaign that is both an ideological procedure and a symptom of their own unhappiness and self-hate.”

The film shows the defiance of Mali’s society in other ways; a particular favourite is a scene of men continuing a game of football, with no ball, through collective mime. In a similar way, director Abderrahmane Sissako uses the recurring joy of Diawara’s vocals to raise a musical objection to the dire oppression of women and the arts in Mali.

 

Fatoumata  Diawara & Amine Bouhafa – Fasso

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

 

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Arnaldo Antunes, Edgard Scandurra & Toumani Diabaté – Kaira

Celebrating the collaborations between Malian artists and those around the world is a popular topic here on the Hub. Much has been made of the link between Malian music and that of American blues. Looking into this relationship reveals a dark explanation rooted in the murderous, mass upheaval of millions – entire African tribes and societies – through the slave trade of the European colonial era. Similarly, links with Caribbean nations, Cuba in particular, have been noted through AfroCubism and the 1970s experimentations of the Rail Band.

One continent remains relatively unexplored in this regard by the Hub. In the 315 years between 1500 and 1815 the Portuguese Empire transported 3 million Africans (over half perishing in transit or shortly after) to their Brazilian colony in South America. Inspecting the musical consequences – possibly the least dreadful and most joyous of all the consequences – of this devastating period of human history is long overdue. Enter singer and poet Arnaldo Antunes and rock guitarist Edgard Scandurra; two Brazilians who one day got the invite by Toumani to do a concert with him. This marvellous article by Dave Stelfox charts this coming together:

“The rehearsal was the very first time we had ever met” explains Arnaldo “but when we started to play together [there was] a magical synergy between us. At the end, Toumani said: ‘We need to make a record together – you need to come to Mali.’ Edgar and I already had a plan to work together anyway, so we thought, ‘Why not … we can just include Toumani in that project, too.’ Soon after we made that decision we were all in Bamako making the album.”

A story we’ve heard countless times before – Malian musicians would probably make the best diplomats in the world. They have a phenomenal track-record for seamless integration into other cultures through projects, ‘supergroups’, albums, recordings, live performances, improvisations and the rest. Stelfox presses on for an explanation for all this and finds that Brazil also has a wonderful philosophy, borne out of strife and necessity of its history, that has set its musical culture in a similar position to that of Mali. Brazilian music is wholly comfortable, if not at its best, when it is in the process of absorbing, exploring and championing another. Stelfox points to the works of Brazil’s great poet Oswald de Andrade who in 1928:

“…wrote a short text asserting that Brazil’s greatest weapon in the battle against post-colonial European dominance was antropofagia, its ability to “cannibalise” diverse influences into “one participating consciousness”.”

Remarkable words and a beautiful sentiment. And its true. It is a reflection of the indomitable pride shown in all of history’s great resistance movements and its must be a proud tradition for Antunes and Scandurra to uphold. This brings us neatly onto this week’s Song. This is the most ‘Malian’ feeling track of the project; a Portuguese lyric-d, “radically altered“, re-work of a Diabaté song by the same name. It’s delightful, “charming” and exhibits some splendid balafon work, as well as mixed Brazilian-Malian vocals – the soaring, wailing voice of Safiatou Diabaté (the wife of Toumani’s younger brother Mamadou) combining with the husky, singer-songwriter sounds of Arnaldo Antunes.

 

 

Arnaldo Antunes, Edgard Scandurra & Toumani Diabaté – Kaira

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.