15 Mar 2020

Live: Salif Keita at WOMAD 2020

From the collecton Womad
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Photo: ProtoplasmaKid [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

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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