Minneapolis, February 2, 2012—The Walker Art Center, The Cedar Cultural Center, and Sue McLean present Malian musical duo Amadou and Mariam on Tuesday, August 7, at the Cedar Cultural Center at 7:30 pm. The blind husband and wife duo (and full band) will bring their signature mix of Malian blues, rock, pop, West African traditional music and a diverse range of global sounds. In recent years, their collaborations with Damon Albarn (Gorillaz), Paris-based music provocateur Manu Chao, and stadium tours opening for Coldplay and U2 have spread their infectious, innovative music far and wide. Their collaborative spirit also imbues their newest recording Folila (to be released in March on Nonesuch Records) which will feature guest appearances by Santigold; TV on the Radio; Nick Zinner of the Yeah, Yeah Yeahs; Theophilus London, and Bassekou Kouyate (introduced to the Twin Cities in 2010 by the Walker and Cedar). Tickets are available now to Walker members and go on sale to the general public on Friday, February 10 at 12 noon. Doors open at 7 pm. This all-ages show is standing room only. The Cedar is located at 416 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis.
Amadou & Mariam
Singer Mariam Doumbia and guitarist/vocalist Amadou Bagayoko met more than 30 years ago at the Institute for Young Blind People in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and they’ve been performing as a duo for almost as long. For years, they’ve been stars in West Africa and in France, where they now have a home. But that turned out to be just the start for them. Following the release of their 2005 Nonesuch debut, Dimanche à Bamako, the middle-aged, married pair was embraced by a new, multi-generational audience in the US and in the UK. They were welcomed at indie rock-leaning festivals like Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Glastonbury and have been asked to tour with such artists as former Blur front-man Damon Albarn, on his itinerant revue, Afrika Express; the Scissor Sisters, on a series of English dates; and Coldplay, who’ve chosen the couple as the opener for their spring ’09 US dates. Welcome to Mali, the duo’s adventurous second Nonesuch disc, illustrates why.
As a teenage guitarist during the ’70s, the gifted Amadou played with the popular West African band Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako. Mariam, meanwhile, sang at weddings and other traditional Malian festivals. They played their first concert as a duo in 1980 and later moved to Abidjan, capital of the neighboring Ivory Coast, where they began their recording career in 1986. By the late ’90s, the couple was moving regularly between Bamako and Paris, where they signed to Universal and released the albums Sou Ni Ti (1998), Tje ni Mousso (1999), and Wati (2002). Most American listeners discovered Amadou & Mariam via the duo’s 2005 Nonesuch debut, Dimanche à Bamako, produced by the Paris-based world-music provocateur Manu Chao, who himself commands a large States-side following.
With Chao behind the wheel, Dimanche à Bamako was like a fast, bumpy taxi ride straight into the heart of the Malian capital. Cacophonous sounds from the streets mixed in with the spare, skittering rhythms of the songs. It felt thrillingly immediate, like the soundtrack to a jump cut-filled, color-saturated documentary. Dimanche à Bamako became a global hit, selling more than 600,000 copies worldwide and garnering Amadou & Mariam numerous honors, including a Grammy nomination; France’s prestigious Victoire de la Musique; and the Album of the Year and Best African Album distinctions in the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music. Amadou & Mariam also became the first African artists to make the short list in MOJO magazine’s annual Honours List.
Tickets to Amadou and Mariam are $39 advance / $45 day of show and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.