Amadou and Mariam – Mali
These two blind musicians from Mali are currently two of the most important representatives of African music, with a simple style that combines tradition with sounds of blues, rock and electronic music.
Amadou and Mariam met over 30 years ago at the Institute for the Young Blind in Mali. By the 70s, Amadou Bagayok played with various groups, including Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako, a leading African band featuring Salif Keita. On the other hand, Mariam Doumbia carved her reputation as a singer in Mali folk festivals. Now, with nearly a dozen jobs, they frequently perform at festivals such as Glastonbury, Womad, Lollapalooza, Coachella, and the Manchester International Festival.
Their album Dimanche à Bamako, produced by Manu Chao in 2005, was reviewed by the Times as one of the top 100 albums of the decade. They were chosen as Best Group in the Songlines Music Awards 2009 and nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award for their album Welcome To Mali, which included the hit Sabali, produced by Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorilaz). Their song Masiteladi appeared on the list of the top 100 songs of 2009 on the BBC.
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