Golden Voice of Africa
Salif Keita gave up a lot to pursue his dreams of a career in music. Born albino, he was cast out by his family and ostracized by the community. In Mandinka culture albinism is seen as a sign of bad luck and there are beliefs that it’s a mark of the devil. From a royal lineage, with ancestral roots going back to Soundjata Keita, the founder of the Malian Empire in 1240, Keita was disowned by his father after announcing his plans to play music. Keita’s dreams, however, were too strong to be shattered.
Moving to the capitol city of Bamako in 1967, he was soon playing in nightclubs with one of his brothers. Within two years, he was invited to join the Rail Band. Then he joined Kate Manfila and formed Les Ambassadeurs, one of the most important west african band that opens the way for the following generations of african musicians. The ‘golden voice of Africa’ Salif Keita has been at the forefront of modern Malian music for many years.
Keita has extended musical frontiers and carved out a distinctive musical voice, in which rock, funk and jazz combine with the deepest West African griot traditions. After a first decade spent travelling through Africa and building his reputation, he makes himself known on the French scene in the mid 80s.
He has received musical as well as political and humanitarian acknowledgements, and, throughout his life, has tried to transmit a message of peace through his stunning music which has dictated the standards of contemporary mandingo creation.
The accoustic tour recounts Salif Keita’s career, picking up classics from his impressive repertoire. After a few years spent exploring new musical styles and mixing his music with electronics, he returns today to a more intimate and acoustic formula, a return to his roots, and offers a sensational retrospective on his entire career which demands utmost respect. Accompanied by four musicians (guitar, kora, n’goni and percussion) and two backing vocalist, Salif Keita presents an intimist show and plunges the audience in the heart of modern Mandinka soul.
Salif Keita – Lead Vocal
Ousmane Kouyaté – Guitar
Mamadou Diabaté – Kora
Souleymane Kouyaté – N’goni
Bah Kouyaté – Back vocal
Aminata Dante – Back vocal
Souleymane Doumbia – Percussions
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“From his work as lead singer of the legendary Rail Band, to the gorgeous acoustic and dance music of an album like Folon (“The Past”), Salif Keita has innovated constantly, while still respecting the profound Malian traditions that underlie his music– he is one of the handful of true greats, a founder of Afropop” – Charlie Sugnet, KFAI
“He’s a global musical traveller, a veteran with Malian roots and though his experiments do not always prosper, that voice always hits home.” – The Independent