Malian guitarist Habib Koité and his band Bamada return to North America this spring with an 11-city tour, marking the first opportunity for this legendary African music figure to perform songs from his most recent and critically acclaimed album Afriki.
Afriki was released by Cumbancha last fall and features an appealing set of songs that reflect Habib's unique and innovative approach to the diverse styles of Malian music. Years in the making, and recorded on three continents, Afriki finds Habib exploring some new musical directions. The overarching theme of Afriki, which means "Africa" in the Malian Bambara language, is about the strengths and challenges of the African continent. For example, James Brown veteran Pee Wee Ellis arranged horns on the song "Africa," which calls upon Africans to take responsibility for their own future and not depend on the outside world.
Habib's artistry draws on styles from the different regions of Mali, rather than solely on the music of his particular area as most Malian musicians do. He has gained a strong fan base by integrating the rock and folk sounds of the Western world, without watering down his Malian roots. Habib descends from a line of griots, traditional troubadors who provide wit, wisdom and entertainment to the pubic. Taking this role to the world at large, his charisma and magnetism translates across cultures.
With an appearance on the popular television show Late Night with David Letterman, a duet with Bonnie Raitt on her 2002 album Silver Lining and nearly a thousand concerts on some of the world's most prestigious stages under his belt, Habib Koité is one of Africa's most beloved and popular musicians.
In addition to the concert dates below Habib plans to return to the US in August and September to continue his Afriki tour. Visit www.cumbancha.com for updates.
Habib Koité Tour Dates
04/25/08 Lafayette, LA Festival International
04/26/08 Lafayette, LA Festival International
04/27/08 Houston, TX Houston International Festival
04/29/08 Nashville, TN Belcourt Theatre
05/01/08 New York, NY The Highline Ballroom
05/02/08 Northampton, MA Iron Horse
05/03/08 Somerville, MA Somerville Theatre
05/04/08 Montreal, QC Le National
05/07/08 Providence, RI Lupos Heartbreak Hotel
05/08/08 Arden, DE Gild Hall
05/09/08 Washington, D.C. Lisner Auditorium
05/10/08 Black Mountain, NC Lake Eden Arts Festival