Paris-based singer, songwriter, and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara's debut album, Fatou, is a sinuous, insinuating synthesis of traditional Malian music and international folk, jazz, and pop elements. Born to Malian parents living in the Ivory Coast, she hadn't yet hit her teens when she was sent to live with an aunt in Bamako, where she stumbled into a film role, which led to a film and theater career in West Africa and France. Encouraged by a director who heard her singing to herself backstage, Diawara eventually sang backup with Oumou Sangaré, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cheikh Lô, and Herbie Hancock. She writes about the difficulties of being an independent woman in a traditional society, condemns female circumcision, and laments war. And recently she gathered some 40 Malian musicians in Bamako to record a song calling for peace in the country, which has been ravaged in the past year by fighting. (Photo by Mali-Serena-Aurora-Erotico)
Fri., April 12, 7 p.m., 2013
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