Through collaborations with Damon Albarn, Herbie Hancock and Tony Allen, as well as through her voice and ability to merge tradition and pop music, she has garnered international attention: Fatoumata Diawara, a singer and actress originally from Mali, presents her album Fenfo originating in her homeland, in Burkina Faso, in Barcelona and in Paris. Statuesque, superb, elegant-as hailed by the international press- Diawara reinvents with her guitar the fast rhythms and blues melodies of Wassoulou, positions her heritage in a new era and brings a decidedly African perspective to the concept of ‘songwriter’.
Fatoumata Diawara (born 1982) is a Malian musician currently living in France. Born in the Ivory Coast to Malian parents, Diawara moved to France to pursue acting, appearing in Cheikh Oumar Cissoko’s 1999 feature film La Genèse, Dani Kouyaté’s popular 2001 film Sia, le rêve du python, in the internationally renowned street theatre troupe Royal Deluxe, and played a leading role in the musical Kirikou et Karaba. She later took up the guitar and began composing her own material, writing songs that blend Wassalou traditions of Southern Mali with international influences. Noted for her distinct “sensuous voice,” she has performed and recorded with Oumou Sangaré, AfroCubism, Dee Dee Bridgewater (on Red Earth: A Malian Journey), and the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. Her new EP was released May 9, 2011 and her debut album Fatou with World Circuit Records was released in September 2011.
Lead vocal and guitars: Fatoumata Diawara
Guitar: Yacouba Kone
keys: Arecio Smith
bass: Sekou Bah
drums: Jean Baptiste Gbadoe