#3488: Songs for Peace, From Mali

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Vieux Farka Touré

On this edition of New Sounds, hear politically-inspired music from Mali speaking out against the old government as well as in response to the ongoing situation in the north; the 2012 nationalist uprising, subsequent Islamist takeover and most recent French intervention in January of 2013.  With the takeover in the north, the hardline fundamentalists imposed sharia law, banning music (including the annual Festival in the Desert), yet that hasn’t stopped many musicians from singing, playing, and speaking out for peace and freedom.

The fantastic singer & guitarist, Fatoumata Diawara recently gathered over 40 of the country’s most renowned musicians to record a song, “Mali ko,” calling for peace. The group, collectively called 'Voices United for Mali' includes Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangare, Toumani Diabate, Khaira Arby, Kasse Mady Diabate, Baba Salah, Afel Bocoum, Tiken Jah, rapper Amkoullel and Habib Koite amongst many others.  Listen to that song, along with several tracks from guitarist Vieux Farka Touré’s album “Mon Pays,” an homage to his homeland, intended to serve as a reminder of the country’s rich culture of music and beauty.  Vieux is the son of Ali Farka Touré, and on the record, his guest kora player is Sidiki Diabate, son of Toumani Diabate. Also, hear Samba Touré’s “Aye Sira Bila” from the album “Albala,” which means “Danger,” where he asks pointed questions about Mali’s government. Plus, there’s music from Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca, featuring Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara performing “Bibisa” from his forthcoming album “Yo.”  In case the message wasn’t clear, rounding out the show are several versions of a song entitled “Kaira,” meaning “Peace”; hear one by Brazilian guitarists & Toumani Diabate, another by the duo of Swedish Fiddler Ellika Frisell and Senegalese griot and kora player Solo Cissokho, and finally an arrangement of Toumani Diabate’s “Kaira” by South African guitarist Derek Gripper.

PROGRAM # 3488, songs for peace, from Mali (First aired on 7/16/2013)                                





Vieux Farka Touré

Mon Pays

Safare (Ali Farka Touré), excerpt [2:00]

Six Degrees Records 657036120020

Voices United for Mali

World Circuit Soundcloud

Mali-ko (Peace / La Paix) [7:10]


Samba Touré


Aye Sira Bila [4:37]

Glitterbeat Records Forced Exposure / Glitterbeat - #GBCD 004

Roberto Fonseca (w/ Fatoumata Diawara) 


Bibisa [4:33]

Concord Jazz PRO-CJ-0575

Vieux Farka Touré (w/ Sidiki Diabate)

Mon Pays

Peace [4:43]

Six Degrees Records 657036120020

Arnaldo Antunes, Edgard Scandurra, Toumani Diabaté 

A Curva da Cintura

Kaira [4:26]

Mais Um Discos

Ellika Frisell & Solo Cissokho



Kaira [8:54]

Xource XOUCD142

Or available as an import via Amazon.com

Derek Gripper

One Night on Earth: Music from the strings of Mali

Kaira (Peace) [5:27]

New Cape Records NC11

Vieux Farka Touré (w/ Sidiki Diabate)

Mon Pays

Future [4:50]

See above.