Friday, July 20, 2012
Watch: Toumani Diabaté and AfroCubism Featured on CNN's "African Voices"AfroCubism—the supergroup of Cuban and Malian singers and instrumentalists that released its self-titled debut album on World Circuit/Nonesuch Records in 2010—made a rare North American visit for a brief tour of the United States and Canada last month. CNN caught up with band member Toumani Diabaté to discuss the cross-cultural project in a piece for CNN International's African Voices program. Watch it below.
As the piece explains, AfroCubism was originally meant to take place 14 years earlier in 1996, when travel complications prevented the Malians from flying to Havana, leading to the recording of a very different album, Buena Vista Social Club. When the AfroCubism album was finally recorded and released in 2010, featuring Diabaté, Eliades Ochoa, Bassekou Kouyate, and others, it was meant with great critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination.
Diabaté describes himself and the band as "ambassadors for culture," and CNN concurs.
"With his goal of expanding the kora's reach beyond West Africa, the role of ambassador seems to be a perfect fit," the show says of Diabaté. "His collaborations and his vision, pairing the unique sound of the kora with instruments from across the globe, open up a world of possibility, all the while maintaining his roots at home in West Africa."
Watch the full story, featuring clips from AfroCubism's performance last month at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, here:
Watch more from the interview with Diabaté about the long and rich history of the kora and what CNN calls his "daring and innovative collaborations" here: