Fatoumata Diawara in San Francisco
Perpetuating 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 Wassoulou tradition, jazz, and blues, Fatoumata Diawara has created her own unique contemporary folk sound, with a distinctly African spin to the concept of 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 often troubled 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 finding her feet in the medium she was always destined to make her own: music.
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