Watch: Fatoumata Diawara's Globalfest Set Featured on NPR's "All Songs Considered"; "Undoubtedly One of the Breakout Stars"
Fatoumata Diawara, the Ivory Coast-born, Malian singer-songwriter whose debut album, Fatou, was released in the United States last year on World Circuit / Nonesuch Records, made a brief stop in the US this past weekend to perform a set at the 10th annual Globalfest concert at Webster Hall in New York City on Sunday. The event is the subject of this week's episode of NPR's All Songs Considered, featuring a conversation of the night's performances with host Bob Boilen, NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR contributor and Afropop.org senior editor Banning Eyre, and Rob Weisberg of WNYC. The group discusses the festival's "highlights and favorite discoveries," among them Fatoumata Diawara.
"Undoubtedly one of the breakout stars of this year's edition of globalFEST, the Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara had the crowd wrapped around her finger," reports NPR Music. "Gifted with enormous stage presence and great looks, Diawara put on a tightly choreographed set that screamed with energy and edged towards rock and funk."
The New York Times music critic Jon Pareles reports from the concert as well.
"Over the last decade Globalfest has presented 21st-century world music as an accelerating fusion, a recombinant free-for-all of local traditions meeting ideas and technologies from afar," Pareles explains in the Times review. "It’s a realistic view of how musicians work; very few are purists. And some hybrids have grown durable enough to feel like traditions of their own. That’s how it was with this year’s superb African contingent at Globalfest," including Fatoumata Diawara, who "draws on her parents’ regional heritage—Wassoulou music—for tightly wound, triple-time modal grooves that she pushes toward funk and rock. Songs like 'Kele' ('War') took on a special urgency from the current civil war in Mali."
Read the complete concert review at nytimes.com.
Fatoumata Diawara spoke with PRI's The World about the civil war in Mali and its effect on women in the country, as well as the role of music and musicians. Listen to the segment here: