Monday, March 2, 2009
Félicitations à Rokia Traoré. Tchamantché, her latest Tama/Nonesuch release, received the Victoires de la Musique, the French equivalent of the Grammy Award, for Best World Album. The ceremony was held this past Saturday night at the Zenith in Paris and was broadcast live on French national television.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Rokia Traoré's recent Nonesuch release, Tchamantché, receives an 8.4 from Pitchfork, asserting that her "sense of independence has imbued her music with a special quality that sets it apart from that of many of her erstwhile peers." The review cites the album's "gorgeous guitar tones and Traoré's quiet vocals. These twin strands of transnational DNA—guitar plus vocals—wend through all music, but here they're made more entrancing by Traoré's refusal to abandon her roots while at the same time working subtly but assiduously to build upon them."
Monday, February 23, 2009
Rokia Traoré is the subject of a feature article in the Financial Times that examines the life and career of "Mali’s most ambitious, experimental singer," in particular her place in a culture in which musical roles are often strictly defined by tradition and deep-rooted tastes. The article closes at a soundcheck in a London club in which Rokia and her band are getting ready to play, and even with the day's distractions, "when Traoré sings quietly, more to herself than to anyone else, the room is hers and hers alone."
Friday, February 13, 2009
Rokia Traoré's two-week tour of the US comes to a close this weekend with a performance at the Somerville Theatre outside Boston tonight and a return to New York Saturday for show at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. Rokia is the subject of a feature article in the Boston Globe, which examines her unique blend of traditional and modern sounds and instruments, contending that she has "found a potent muse in the sound of an old electric guitar," the Gretsch, featured prominently on her new album, Tchamantché.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Rokia Traoré returns to New York City for a performance of songs from her latest release, Tchamantché, at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. The Chicago Tribune calls this week's performance at Chicago's Old Town School of Music "riveting," one that showed the many facets of the "fascinatingly complex singer ... who embraces but also stretches centuries-old traditions." Throughout, "the incredible Traoré was in command of stage, song and crowd alike."
Friday, February 6, 2009
Washington Post: Rokia Traoré's "Dramatic, Entrancing" Vocals, Blend of Styles, Make "Tchamantché" "Compelling"
Rokia Traoré's two-week US tour with music from her latest Nonesuch release, Tchamantché, continues tonight at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. That city's Star Tribune describes Traoré's work as "fearless, sophisticated, genre-bending music" and says her "gorgeous vocals ... express the nuances of intimacy and emotion with the refinement of a calligrapher." The Washington Post describes Rokia's voice as "dramatic and entrancing" but concludes, "The album's real allure is its blend of traditional and contemporary elements ..."
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Rokia Traoré's recently released album Tchamantché is lauded as the Malian singer/songwriter's "best and most daring work" in a review for NPR's All Things Considered by Banning Eyre. "Traoré's meld of African and rock aesthetics is understated and as comfortable as it is cool," says Eyre. "The world's less-developed societies have produced many singers who seek to balance musical style and cultural perspective, and to address the larger world. Few manage it with the grace and style of Rokia Traoré."
Friday, January 30, 2009
Rokia Traoré stops by the studios of WNYC, New York public radio, for today's episode of Soundcheck. She'll talk with the show's host, John Schaefer, about her recent Nonesuch release, Tchamantché, and perform some songs from the album. The show begins at 2 PM ET. New York audiences can tune in on 93.9 FM; listeners from around the world can catch the live stream on wnyc.org. Rokia begins a ten-day US tour next week.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Rokia Traoré's new album, Tchamantché, features nine tunes Traoré penned herself, plus her unique take on Billie Holiday's "The Man I Love." NPR has chosen the track as today's Song of the Day, with Banning Eyre exclaiming that the Malian singer "sets a new standard" with her interpretation of the famous tune. "Traoré briefly shows off her impressive range of vocal colors, just enough to let listeners know what she can do, with all the cool of a jazz master and all the mystery of an African diva." On Tchamantché, says Eyre, "Traoré makes her strongest and most personal statement yet."
Monday, January 26, 2009
Rokia Traoré's new album, Tchamantché, has been dubbed "a Malian masterpiece" by NPR's All Songs Considered. In the show's latest episode, host Bob Boilen describes Traoré as "a gorgeous singer from Mali" and calls Tchamantché "a graceful and tender record" with "an extraordinary vibe."