Celebrating Mali's rich musical traditions with Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba, Tamikrest and Sidi Touré
Mali is a country which is currently struggling against military insurgence, but also holds a wealth of cultural and musical traditions. Sahara Soul pays tribute to this and the power of music to unify people.
A native of Segou, South Mali, Grammy Award nominated Bassekou Kouyaté is rooted in the Bamana tradition. Widely credited with revolutionising the ngoni - an ancient African stringed instrument believed to be the ancestor of the banjo - Bassekou has modernised its use in ways previously unimaginable.
Tamikrest are a Saharan Touareg band whose homeland lies in the Northern territories. They sing in Tamashek and play a unique brand of desert blues, hypnotic dub and psychedelic rock full of the rebellious spirit of nomadic people.
Sidi Touré comes from Gao, the ancient city on the banks of the River Niger in the North, recently devastated by militia attacks. This singer-songwriter performs Songhai folk songs, fusing real-life African storytelling with magical-realism.
All these artists have lived through the devastating consequences of the country’s current instability. Sahara Soul provides a rare opportunity for Malian musicians to join together to express their collective defiance of oppression.
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