sun 15/12/2019

Mali

Kasse Mady Diabate, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Not many concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall culminate in a string of beautiful African women sashaying down the aisles to the stage to press fivers and tenners upon the still-crooning singer. After taking their hands in turn, as if in benediction...

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DVD: Timbuktu

A heartbreaking, inexorable tragedy served by one stupendous visual composition after another, Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu is a masterpiece. The Mauritanian locations are a plausible stand-in for Malian Timbuktu and the desert around it – yes, I...

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Timbuktu

The imposition of a brutal jihadist regime is relayed with formidable articulacy and a surprising lightness of touch in this gut-wrenching drama from Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako. Although its narrative events are as horrifying as those...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 9

Been a while since you checked out the best and latest world music releases? theartsdesk’s global music expert Peter Culshaw's selects the best music released in the last month or so.His peripatetic wanderings take in hot New Orleans brass, Indian...

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CD: Songhoy Blues - Music in Exile

Songhoy Blues, a punchy guitar band with roots on the edge of the desert, take the downhome country sounds of Ali Farka Toure, Afel Bocoum and Sidi Toure and give them a high-octane dose of urban urgency. They don’t just play those mesmerising Sahel...

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CD: Africa Express Presents... Terry Riley's In C

If humanity first emerged in Africa, so did music, that’s for sure. The continent provides an endless reservoir of sounds and rhythms that have fed into blues, gospel, rock and jazz and influenced musical culture the world over. Not surprising...

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Kasse Mady Diabate, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre

Kassé Mady Diabaté is one of the great singers of West Africa, a member of Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra and, more recently, the Afrocubism all-star line-up. His latest album Kiriké (Horse’s Saddle) on the Parisian No Format label is a...

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CD: Kassé Mady Diabaté - Kiriké

In reaching out to audiences beyond the African context, Malian musicians and singers have adopted performance styles that don’t always reflect the intimacy and personal communication so fundamental to the praise-singing at the heart of the region’s...

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CD: Tinariwen - Emmaar

On seeing that new Tinariwen album, Emmaar, had been recorded at Joshua Tree (due to ongoing security problems in their native Mali) with a number of American guest musicians, my heart sank. I imagined some special guest-heavy yet artistically...

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Prom 54: World Routes

Why are the Malians always punching way above their weight in music? There may be some historical reasons. The French always were more welcoming to the culture of their empire than the Brits (and more used to foreign-language music), while Paris...

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theartsdesk in Zanzibar: The Nightingale Still Sings

A crowd of men and younger women in full burkahs gathers, bewildered by the sight: an African woman, in West African “Mumu” (khaftan) and a covered head, playing Ghazals (Islamic calls to prayer). Accompanied by an acoustic guitar, a clear voice,...

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theartsdesk in Mali: Creation, Conservation and Restoration

Timbuktu, the legendary "End of the World", does actually exist, and as everyone now knows, it's in Mali. It has just been thrust into the world’s focus after its recent liberation from the Al Qaeda-linked extremists who have occupied the north of...

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