Tag Archives: Black voices

Malian singer Oumou Sangaré set for Apollo Theater debut on 29 October

This article was written by Gabriel Myers Hansen and originally published by Music In Africa under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialCC BY-NC licence.


Malian Wassoulou musician Oumou Sangaré will perform for the first time at the Apollo Theater in New York on 29 October.

📷 Oumou Sangaré

The gig, presented by the World Music Institute, forms part of the US-based non-profit Women’s Voices series celebrating the role of female artists in preserving and promoting their respective cultures and traditions.

It also forms part of Apollo’s Next Movement season of performances throughout this Fall.

The Grammy-winning songstress, who is behind eight albums, will perform songs from her expansive catalogue, including her recent critically acclaimed collection, Timbuktu.

“Over the past eight decades the Apollo has amplified Black voices and used its platforms to create an intersection of art and activism,” Apollo’s executive producer, Kamilah Forbes, said.

“Having Oumou perform a range of music from Wassoulou music to contemporary sounds is exactly the kind of artistic conversation that we champion.”

An activist and businesswoman who goes by the nickname ‘The Songbird of Wassoulou’, Oumou Sangaré’s work spans traditional Wassoulou music and contemporary sounds. Thematically, her music centres on social criticism, particularly women’s low social status.

Her illustrious career has drawn comparisons to global performers such as Jamaican great Grace Jones and US legends Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin. She has also been celebrated by pop stars including Beyoncé and Alicia Keys for her powerful voice and unwavering commitment to the betterment of women.

Tickets are on sale now at www.ApolloTheater.org.


Grammy Nominees Turn Down Their Nominations In Protest

Music made for children can easily been seen as protest music. To educate is to protest the status quo and propose new ways of creating empathy among the future leaders of the world. We should all strive to leave this place better than we found it.

NPR reports that a few 2021 Grammy nominees had decided to turn down their nominations when learning that all their fellow nominees were white. One of the protesters, Alistair Moock, who was nominated for an album in the category of Best Children’s Album, said about his nomination: “I don’t want it like this, where the playing field’s not even.”

According to the NPR article all the nominees in the Best Children’s Album category agreed that a nomination for Pierce Freelon was missing from the list. Freelon released his album D.a.d. on July 31st and it has been piling up positive reviews since then.

Dog on Fleas and the Okee Dokee Brothers also declined their nominations and the latter group said: “We thought that it was the strongest thing we could do, to stand with people of color whose albums are too often left out of the Grammy nominations,”.

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