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World Music

Fatoumata Diawara

on August 23, 2011 - 10:05am

Fatoumata Diawara (a.k.a. Fatou) was born of Malian parents in the Ivory Coast in 1982. As a child she became a member of her father’s dance troupe and was a popular performer of the wildly flailing didadi dance from Wassoulou, her ancestral home in western Mali. She was an energetic and headstrong girl and at the age of 12 her refusal to go to school prompted her parents to send her to live and be disciplined by an aunt in Bamako. She was not to see her parents again for more than a decade.

Her aunt was an actress, and a few years after arriving, Diawara found herself on a film set looking

Ry Cooder

on May 29, 2008 - 7:06pm

Nonesuch / Perro Verde Records release Ry Cooder’s first live record in more than 35 years, Live in San Francisco, on September 10, 2013. Recorded in 2011 during a special two-night engagement at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, the album includes 12 songs and was produced by Cooder. The Corridos Famosos band includes Joachim Cooder on drums; Robert Francis on bass; vocalists Terry Evans, Arnold McCuller, and Juliette Commagere; Flaco Jimenez on accordion; and the ten-piece Mexican brass band La Banda Juvenil.

Rokia Traore

on May 29, 2008 - 7:06pm

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré’s Beautiful Africa will be released on April 9, 2013, by Nonesuch Records (worldwide for the first time). The record was produced by English musician John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Sparklehorse) and recorded at Toybox Studios in Bristol, UK. Its lyrics are sung in the Malian–born Traoré’s native languages of French and Bambara, as well as some English. 

Pitchfork described Traoré’s most recent record, 2009’s Tchamantché, as “a guitar album of a particularly understated bent...hauntingly spare yet ridiculously well-defined, the timbre

Amadou & Mariam

on May 29, 2008 - 7:06pm

Singer Mariam Doumbia and guitarist/vocalist Amadou Bagayoko met more than 30 years ago at the Institute for Young Blind People in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and they've been performing as a duo for almost as long. For years, they've been stars in West Africa and in France, where they now have a home. But that turned out to be just the start for them. Following the release of their 2005 Nonesuch debut, Dimanche à Bamako, the middle-aged, married pair was embraced by a new, multi-generational audience in the US and in the UK.

David Byrne

on May 29, 2008 - 7:06pm

David Byrne, known as the force behind Talking Heads and later as creator of the highly-regarded record-label Luaka Bop, also works as a photographer, film director, author, and solo artist; he has been publishing and exhibiting visual art for more than a decade.

Grown Backwards was Byrne’s first Nonesuch Records release. “There are a few artists today who are so original in what they do that one can truly say they sound like no one else in the world,” says label president Robert Hurwitz. “This is what we have always felt about David Byrne, and this is how we feel about Grown Backwards, his