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.
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.