Recent turmoil in Mali — essentially a struggle to preserve the nation's rich multicultural heritage against Taliban-like troglodytes — continues to elicit eloquent responses from its many superb musicians. Virtuoso acoustic guitarist, singer, and songwriter Habib Koité's newly released Soô, which means "home," is a simple concept that becomes profound in Mali's current context. Singing soulfully in several languages and characteristically incorporating diverse traditional elements from throughout the country, Koité addresses the crisis by celebrating Mali's roots, sharing its pleasures, waxing poignantly about war, and pleading for harmony. His music is sublime and seductive: alluring melodies picked with Western and Malian influences, simmering rhythms from djembe and calabash, Issa Kone's surprise turns on banjo, and subtle harmonies that sigh and whisper and seem to bring it all back home.
Tue., Feb. 25, 7 p.m., 2014