Roots, The Voice of Africa
Rokia Traoré, guitar and voice
Mamah Diabaté, n’goni
Mamadyba Camara, kora
Habib Sangaré, bolon
Marie Virginie Dembélé, Fatim Kouyaté, Bintou Soumbounou,
Kadiatou Sangaré, chorus
An award-winning singer and guitarist, Rokia Traoré abundantly draws on the noble musical traditions of Mali, a country so rich in sounds as to intrigue, in the recent past, even a jazz singer like Dee Dee Bridgewater, who dedicated the album Red Heart to those roots. Traoré, elegant and refined, revitalizes her roots by regenerating them into blues songs, rock hues and soul depths. “I love and respect traditional music,” Rokia explains, “there are many talented musicians, but listening to them is much more interesting to me rather than trying to imitate them without having all their experience. Yes, I’m using traditional instruments, but I’m trying to give them new ways of expression by means of modern songs that have a fully contemporary feeling. If I had been born 100 years ago, I wouldn’t have got to know European or American music. But in our world we are necessarily exposed to these sounds, and now they are a part of me. I create music like those who have listened to jazz, classical music, rock and pop – all of them, from Louis Armstrong to Serge Gainsbourg – as well as the African griots”.
Rokia Traoré, a descendant of noble Malian stock, is the daughter of a diplomat. She musically grew drawing on the rhythms of upper Niger, on the balafon magic sound, on the choral voices of Wassolou. In 1996, when she was 22, she devoted herself to her musical career. She is an artist who gets her lifeblood from the encounter between tradition and modernity. But she is especially a sensitive woman, aware of social issues: in fact, in her songs, a recurrent theme is the support to the rights denied to African women.
Saturday 24 March, 20:45
Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi
Pordenone - Viale Franco Martelli, 2
Admission: full price € 14,00, reduced price € 10,00 (numbered seat)