Thursday, October 22, 2009
Foundation Passerelle, the organization founded by Rokia Traoré to help her fellow Malians prepare for careers in music, has been awarded the first-ever Roskilde Festival World Music Award. Rokia will accept the 30,000 euro award, on the foundation's behalf, from the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen at the Womex world music conference on November 1. She had already been scheduled to attend this year's Womex to speak about the foundation.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Rokia Traoré was the featured artist on this past weekend's Transpacific Sound Paradise on New York independent radio station WFMU. Listen in to hear tracks from Rokia's latest Nonesuch release, Tchamantché, and an interview with the Malian-born singer/songwriter about the new sounds she explores on the album.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Rokia Traoré was "one of the biggest draws" at this past weekend's WOMAD festival in Wiltshire, England, says the BBC. From backstage, BBC spoke with the Malian-born singer-songwriter, described as "one of Africa's most innovative and acclaimed musicians." The Independent gives four star's to the festival's first night, at which "the day's star-making performance comes from Mali's Rokia Traoré ... It is when she dances, hips swinging half-way to Somerset, and straps on an electric guitar to lead her band in hard, dramatic rock, that she becomes potent with pride."
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Rokia Traoré, whose most recent album, Tchamantché, was released on Nonesuch earlier this year, is the subject of a feature profile in the Sunday Times (UK), in anticipation of her sold-out concert at London’s celebrated Barbican this Friday. The article highlights both her “flourishing reputation” and the launch of her Fondation Passarelle, an organization she founded to help young people develop the skills needed to enter the music business. In August, she performs two free shows in New York that Time Out includes in its preview of the summer's best outdoor concerts. "With her latest disc," says the magazine, "Traoré wraps her beautiful, velvety voice around moody blues and joyous Afrobeats alike. Be prepared to gape at her lovely vocals, and also to get up and shimmy."
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Rokia Traoré and Amadou & Mariam have been announced the winners of the inaugural Songlines Music Awards, created by Songlines magazine to recognize outstanding talent in world music. Rokia has won the Best Artist award, and Amadou & Mariam have been named Best Group. "This Songlines Award means a lot to me," says Rokia, "not just because it comes from a magazine I respect and one that has always been supportive of my music, but also because at this stage in my career it is an honor to still be recognized for my continued efforts to make my music better."
Monday, March 23, 2009
Amadou & Mariam's latest album, Welcome to Mali, is set for US release on Nonesuch tomorrow. The duo is the subject of a number of feature-length articles about changing perceptions in the West of African musics beyond "world music." The New York Times places them "among the world’s most renowned African musical acts" and says the new album is "less an abandonment of the group’s culture than an updating of it." The Los Angeles Times cites the success of Amadou & Mariam, who "helped define the current African shift," and of Youssou N'Dour, Oumou Sangare, and Rokia Traoré, as examples that "the American cliché of African music is falling apart—or, really, exploding." Detroit Free-Press gives Welcome to Mali four stars, calling it "a spirited invitation to dance away those recession-induced blues and welcome spring ... This is a feel-good album. Don't miss it."
Friday, March 20, 2009
Rokia Traoré, Toumani Diabaté, and Amadou & Mariam have all been nominated for the inaugural Songlines Music Awards, recognizing outstanding talent in world music. Diabaté and Traoré are each nominated for Best Artist, Amadou & Mariam for Best Group. Winners will be chosen by the Songlines editorial team and announced in May. The WOMAD festival, the Awards' co-presenter, will host a live event with a selection of the nominees at WOMAD Charlton Park in July, where Traoré and label mate Oumou Sangare are scheduled to perform.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
On Tchamantché, Rokia Traoré's recently released album, the Malian-born singer-songwriter "strikes out in a new direction while staying true to her African roots," says Dusted magazine. "The results are strikingly creative," producing "Traoré’s best work so far, and absolutely not to be missed." She performed last night at Sydney's Enmore Theatre in what Australian Stage describes as "two solid hours of groundbreaking, extra-African music ... by turns, startling, beguiling, seductive, spellbinding, exquisite, refined, rocking, intimate, infectious, affecting and 'funktional.' But, most of all, exciting, stirring the blood, vigourously."
Monday, March 9, 2009
The Australian: Rokia Traoré Rocks WOMAD; Her "Tchamantché" "Is the Epitome of Intelligent, Minimalist Music"
Rokia Traoré was the closing act at this year's WOMADelaide, the Adelaide, Australia, leg of the global World of Music and Dance festival, last night. The Australian says that with her "distinctive, soulful voice" in full effect, "Traoré rocked the park. Traoré has successfully forged her Malian roots with western blues, funk and jazz elements and at times the energy was electrifying ..." The paper's review of her new album, Tchamantché, calls it "the epitome of intelligent, minimalist music, with sparse accompaniment, thoughtful arrangements and subtle percussion."
Friday, March 6, 2009
Rokia Traoré is the subject of a feature interview on Pitchfork today, in which the Malian singer-songwriter now living in France discusses her career and describes the inspiration and influences behind her latest Nonesuch release, Tchamantché. "Over 10 years and four incredibly well-received albums," says Pitchfork, "Rokia Traoré has become one of world music's great synthesizers, combining the rhythms and traditions of diverse cultures from Africa and Europe into a complex sound that only she could create."