Fatoumata Diawara hits Band on the Wall this February for one of the early highlights in the venue’s calendar. Impressing audiences and peers since her 2011 debut, Fatou, Diawara’s blend of jazz and folk has led her to record with legends such as Bobby Womack, Herbie Hanhock and perform with Damon Albarn’s Africa Express. Her latest album, FENFO (which translates as “something to say”) takes the Malian artist’s vision in a new and bold direction, both recalling her African roots and remaining utterly contemporary; FENFO features heavy electric guitars counterposed with traditional African string instruments, such as the kamel and kora, mixed with traditional percussion and organ sounds. Produced by Matthieu Chedid AKA M, who also played on the record, FENFO was recorded in Mali, Barcelona, Burkina Faso and Paris, where Diawara lives, and went on to gain a nomination for Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. As Diawara explains: “I wanted a modern sound because that’s the world I live in. I’m a traditionalist but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences but communicate them in a different style.”

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Fri 7 Feb, 7pm, Band on the Wall,
25 Swan Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5JZ
, Tel: 0161 834 1786, £25.50
Edward Lane
Published on:
Wed 15 Jan 2020