- April 18, 2014
- 8:00 pm
275 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Extending Mali's rich musical tradition, Fatoumata Diawara presents a joyous mix of the vibrant and understated, combining songs about love, politics, and empowerment. With arresting melodies soaring over intricate guitar and drum arrangements, and inspired by the Wassoulou tradition, jazz, and blues, Fatoumata Diawara has created her own contemporary folk sound, with a distinctly African spin on the female singer-songwriter.
At the center of the music is Diawara's warm, affecting voice; spare, rhythmical guitar playing; and gorgeously melodic songs that draw powerfully on her own experience. Born in Côte d'Ivoire, raised in Mali, now based in Paris, Diawara has had a life covering a whole gamut of contemporary African experience: fighting parental opposition to her artistic ambitions and the cultural prejudice faced by women throughout Africa, winning success as an actress in film and theater, before entering the medium she was always destined to make her own: music.
Damon Albarn, Toumani Diabaté, Herbie Hancock, and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones are just a few of the major players who have fallen for Diawara's effortless musical charm, as her presence has lit up shows in Europe by Africa Express, AfroCubism, and Hancock's Imagine project. Yet her debut, released on Nonesuch Records in 2012, is almost entirely her own work: self-composed and arranged, with her own backing vocals and percussion.
Fatoumata Diawara (aka Fatou) was born of Malian parents in the Ivory Coast in 1982. As a child she became a member of her father's dance troupe and was a popular performer of the ancestral Wassoulou dance from her home in western Mali.