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  • Rokia Traore

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  • October 11, 2018

    Rokia Traoré has been named Guest Director for the 2019 Brighton Festival, May 4–26, following in the footsteps of Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, and others. "She is a remarkable artist who deserves to be recognized for the great breadth and range of her output," says Brighton Festival Chief Executive Andrew Comben. "She also has a great preparedness to think beyond her personal practice and engage with and comment upon the world around her—qualities which ideally suit her to the role of Guest Director."

  • October 8, 2018

    Rokia Traoré will be the artist in residence at New York University's Institute of African American Affairs this semester. Through three programs curated by Traoré, she will share her work, ideas, and philosophy. The events, taking place at NYU October 26–30, including two lecture-performances and a culminating concert, are free and open to the public.

Photos

Videos

  • http://nonesuch.edgeboss.net/download/nonesuch/video/rokiatraore/rokia-traore_ile_960x540.mp4
  • http://nonesuch.edgeboss.net/download/nonesuch/video/rokiatraore/rokia-traore_neso_960x540.mp4
  • http://nonesuch.edgeboss.net/download/nonesuch/video/rokiatraore/rokia-traore_melancolie_960x540.mp4
  • http://nonesuch.edgeboss.net/download/nonesuch/video/rokiatraore/rokia-dounia_960x540.mp4

About Rokia Traore

  • Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré's sixth album, Né So (Home), will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 12, 2016. The album was produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman), who also produced her 2013 record, Beautiful Africa. Né So features guest performances by John Paul Jones, Toni Morrison, and Traoré's labelmate Devendra Banhart, along with Burkinabe drummer Moïse Ouattara, Ivorian bassist Matthieu N'guessan, long-time collaborator Malian ngoni player Mamah Diabaté, guitarists Rodriguez Vangama and Stefano Pilia, and backing vocalists Bule Mpania, Russell Tshiebua, and Stefy Rika. The album features 10 original songs and a cover of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit." 

    Traoré had always been a traveler, but in 2009, she decided to move back to Mali. Three years later, she bore witness as her country's civil war gained terrible momentum. "Experiencing life in a war-torn country was traumatic. I became aware of how naïve I had been," she confesses.

    She had left Bamako for a while and moved to Europe with her young son while simultaneously experiencing personal difficulties. "Everything was falling apart," she says. "It's never easy to go through tough times, but it is also what makes you grow, and understand why you cling to certain things and give up on some others."

    Traoré started by writing and composing the songs alone. She then rehearsed in Bamako and recorded in Brussels and Bristol with musicians from the entire West African region. "I didn't want an all-Malian band. I need variety; I need a mix of cultures around me," she said. "You could say that Mali is where my roots are—it is where I take refuge in times of doubt, and where I accept risks when I must. Bamako was the place where I felt I would be both free and supported."

    Traoré has explored a breadth of directions in her career. She recently collaborated with Nobel Prize–winning novelist Toni Morrison and director Peter Sellars on the theater piece Desdemona. The Guardian called it "a remarkable, challenging and bravely original new work." And in 2013, London's Barbican produced a three-night series of shows by Traoré, entitled Donguili – Donke – Damou (Sing – Dance – Dream).

    Traoré was awarded the inaugural Roskilde Festival World Music Award in 2009 for her work with Foundation Passerelle, and in August 2013 the French government honored her with the distinction of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres), recognizing her significant contributions to the arts. In 2015 she was a jury member at the Festival de Cannes. Traoré's artistic collaborators have also included Kronos Quartet and Damon Albarn.

    Her label debut, 2009's Tchamantché, won an award at the Victoires de la Musique (the equivalent of a Grammy Award in France) and a Songlines Artist of the Year Award for Traoré. Beautiful Africa debuted on the Billboard World Music Charts at #1. Uncut described it as "the record fans of [Traoré's] explosive live shows always hoped she would make; a career highpoint."

Rokia Traore

Tour

Fri, Dec 14
Brussels
Kaaitheater
Fri, Dec 14
Brussels
Kaaitheater
Wed, Jan 23
Lisbon
Edifício Sede
Wed, Jan 23
Lisbon
Edifício Sede
Thu, Jan 24
Montataire
Le Palace
Thu, Jan 24
Montataire
Le Palace
Sat, May 4
Brighton
Sat, May 4
Brighton
nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:06pm
Sort Name: 
Traore
Artist Genre: 
Biography: 

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré's sixth album, Né So (Home), will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 12, 2016. The album was produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman), who also produced her 2013 record, Beautiful Africa. Né So features guest performances by John Paul Jones, Toni Morrison, and Traoré's labelmate Devendra Banhart, along with Burkinabe drummer Moïse Ouattara, Ivorian bassist Matthieu N'guessan, long-time collaborator Malian ngoni player Mamah Diabaté, guitarists Rodriguez Vangama and Stefano Pilia, and backing vocalists Bule Mpania, Russell Tshiebua, and Stefy Rika. The album features 10 original songs and a cover of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit." 

Traoré had always been a traveler, but in 2009, she decided to move back to Mali. Three years later, she bore witness as her country's civil war gained terrible momentum. "Experiencing life in a war-torn country was traumatic. I became aware of how naïve I had been," she confesses.

She had left Bamako for a while and moved to Europe with her young son while simultaneously experiencing personal difficulties. "Everything was falling apart," she says. "It's never easy to go through tough times, but it is also what makes you grow, and understand why you cling to certain things and give up on some others."

Traoré started by writing and composing the songs alone. She then rehearsed in Bamako and recorded in Brussels and Bristol with musicians from the entire West African region. "I didn't want an all-Malian band. I need variety; I need a mix of cultures around me," she said. "You could say that Mali is where my roots are—it is where I take refuge in times of doubt, and where I accept risks when I must. Bamako was the place where I felt I would be both free and supported."

Traoré has explored a breadth of directions in her career. She recently collaborated with Nobel Prize–winning novelist Toni Morrison and director Peter Sellars on the theater piece Desdemona. The Guardian called it "a remarkable, challenging and bravely original new work." And in 2013, London's Barbican produced a three-night series of shows by Traoré, entitled Donguili – Donke – Damou (Sing – Dance – Dream).

Traoré was awarded the inaugural Roskilde Festival World Music Award in 2009 for her work with Foundation Passerelle, and in August 2013 the French government honored her with the distinction of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres), recognizing her significant contributions to the arts. In 2015 she was a jury member at the Festival de Cannes. Traoré's artistic collaborators have also included Kronos Quartet and Damon Albarn.

Her label debut, 2009's Tchamantché, won an award at the Victoires de la Musique (the equivalent of a Grammy Award in France) and a Songlines Artist of the Year Award for Traoré. Beautiful Africa debuted on the Billboard World Music Charts at #1. Uncut described it as "the record fans of [Traoré's] explosive live shows always hoped she would make; a career highpoint."

Weight: 
10
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No
Facebook URL: 
http://www.facebook.com/RokiaTraore
Twitter URL: 
https://twitter.com/rokiatraore
Artist Header Image: 
Artist Card Image: 
Artist Spotlight Image: 
Youtube URL: 
http://www.youtube.com/rokiatraoreofficial

Tour

Fri, Dec 14
Brussels
Kaaitheater
Fri, Dec 14
Brussels
Kaaitheater
Wed, Jan 23
Lisbon
Edifício Sede
Wed, Jan 23
Lisbon
Edifício Sede
Thu, Jan 24
Montataire
Le Palace
Thu, Jan 24
Montataire
Le Palace
Sat, May 4
Brighton
Sat, May 4
Brighton
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