Monday, January 17, 2011

A new Festival in Timbuktu?

A concert has been scheduled in Bamako Mali for the 22nd of January at the Palais du Congres, the largest concert space in the city. Performing will be the great Khaira Arby from Tombouctou;

Khaira Arby

the powerful singer Fantani Toure, the wife of Habib Dembele, a nationally known and loved comedian;

Fantani Toure

and the amazing Mauritanian singer Dimi Mint Abba.

Dimi Mint Abba

This is an amazing and unique opportunity to hear the incredible voice of Dimi Mint Abba outside of her native Mauritania.  I for one am beside myself that I have to miss the chance!

In her native Mauritania, Dimi Mint Abba is revered as the Diva of the Desert. She is the small republic's best-loved female griot and comes from a talented musical family (her father, Sidaty Ould Abba, wrote the Mauritanian national anthem). The griot represents much more to Mauritanians than a singer or musician, as their songs convey history, social commentary, poetry, prophecy and tales about the beauty of love. After winning a prize at the Festival d'Oum Kelthoum in Tunisia in 1976, Dimi represented Mauritania at the Festival of Arabic Youth in Iraq (1977), Festival of Timgad in Algeria (1978) and the Festival of Agadir in Morocco in 1986. In 1989, she embarked on a European tour, giving audiences a first taste of music from Mauritania, followed by the album Moorish Music from Mauritania, with her haunting vocals supported by ardin (similar to the kora), tidnit (a type of lute), tabal and electric guitar. Although the music of neighbouring Mali, Senegal, Algeria and Morocco are better known outside of Africa, the modern and traditional music of Mauritania boasts a unique fusion of African and Arabic cultures to produce a passionate, expressive singing style over complex rhythms - a powerful influence on other forms of music, including flamenco.

This program boasts of extremely talented female vocalists.  It is being billed by its producer, Habib  Nadif, as the launch of a new Festival in Tombouctou .  It is being underwritten by the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Mali.  I will keep a watch on this development to see how this first Festival in Tombouctou gets off the ground.  It is scheduled for late October 2011.
blog comments powered by Disqus