World music superstar Salif Keita rose from humble beginnings to become the undisputed Ambassador of African Music. The Malian singer-songwriter known for blending African music traditions with jazz, rhythm and blues and pop to pioneer the Afropop dance music genre.
Born of noble family ancestry - tracing back to Sundiata Keita, the 13th-century founder of the Malian empire - he grew up as an outsider, chiefly owing to his albinism, a condition traditionally viewed across Africa as a harbinger of misfortune.
He last played WOMAD in 2013 and his return to Aotearoa for WOMAD 2020 was much-anticipated, coinciding with his farewell tour, a swan song celebrating 50 years of music and 70 years of life.
Drawing on more than 20 studio albums Salif Keita delivered a show at the Bowl Of Brooklands that confirmed his status as the “The Golden Voice Of Africa”, his farewell performance exuding warmth, dignity and virtuosity to a hugely responsive audience.
Song Titles: Mama, Dery, M‘Bemba, Tonton, Yamore, Madou, Laban, M’Bife, Were Were, Tekere, AFRICA, Rappel: Madan.
Recorded and produced by Darryl Stack for RNZ Music