Fatoumata Diawara, whose debut album, Fatou, was released in North America late last month on World Circuit / Nonesuch Records, kicks off a tour of the United States featuring music from the new album today. The Malian-raised, Parisian singer/songwriter, whom MOJO calls a "spell-weaving new voice," begins her US tour at the Cityfolk Festival in Dayton, Ohio, tonight, and will make her way across the Midwest and East Coast with stops at festivals and venues in Bloomington, Chicago, New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC; Manchester and Hanover, New Hampshire; and Pittsboro, North Carolina. See below for the complete list of tour stops and head to nonesuch.com/on-tour for additional details and ticket links.
The Chicago Sun-Times includes Diawara's two sets at the World Music Festival among the Five Must-See Acts of the festival. Her new album, Fatou, is "a joyous mix of vibrant songs about love, politics and empowerment," writes the Sun-Times' Mary Houlihan. "Elements of jazz, pop and funk, along with her ancestral Wassoulou traditions, fit nicely with her warm, affecting vocals and her own guitar playing and percussion ... [T]he songs are filled with warmth, confidence and a spontaneous charm." Read more at suntimes.com.
"Fatou is a rare gift of a record for fans of African pop, female vocalists and generally outstanding music," raves PopMatters' David Maine in a new review of the album. "Fatou marks the debut of a powerful new voice on the international music scene. Fans of Oumou Sangare (for whom Fatou has sung backup), Rokia Traore or any of Afro-pop’s many crossover stars will find much to savor here. Fatou’s voice possesses a sweetness that belies its power and a grace that does nothing to detract from her verve. Plus she can play the guitar. Plus she has a terrific smile. Memo to the rest of the world: prepare to be smitten." Read the complete review at popmatters.com.
To pick up a copy of Fatou on CD, MP3, and lossless FLAC, head the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include a download of the complete album at checkout.
Fatoumata Diawara has just been nominated for a MOBO Award for Best African Act, as have fellow Nonesuch artists Amadou & Mariam; Lianne La Havas has been nominated for Best Newcomer. To weigh in on your favorites, head to mobo.com.
FATOUMATA DIAWARA ON TOUR
||Lotus World Music & Arts Festival
||World Music Festival
||Dana Center, Saint Anselm College
||Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University
||New York, NY
||Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College
||Atlas Performing Arts Center
||Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival
||The Kent Stage*