A genre-bending collaboration between banjo virtuoso and 18-time Grammy award winner Béla Fleck with Malian diva and Wassoulou singer Oumou Sangaré, here performing tracks from Fleck's 'Throw Down Your Heart' release, alongside original Sangaré songs.
For nearly 30 years the American has extended the possibilities of the banjo, using it to play jazz, blues, ragtime and even classical music, as well as assorted fusions and the inevitable bluegrass.
Fleck's 'Throw Down Your Heart' release is a companion to the 2009 award-winning documentary of the same name, which chronicled his musical journey to Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo. Bela's boundary-breaking musical adventure took him to Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali, and provides a glimpse of the beauty and complexity of African music.
Of Oumou Sangaré, who also featured in the documentary, Bela Fleck has said 'Sangaré was the person who made me want to go to Africa the most... I fell in love with the sound of her voice.'
Oumou Sangaré is not just the possessor of one of Mali's greatest female voices; she is a taboo-busting protest singer who applies her huge musical gifts to defying tradition in matters of polygamy and women's rights and roles.
Sangaré and Fleck are joined tonight by an electrifying live band featuring Will Calhoun on drums and percussion, 'Benogo' Diakite on kamele n'goni, Sekou Bah on bass and Dandio Sidibe on backing vocals.
'Béla Fleck 's project is impressively original' **** (The Guardian on the 'Throw Down Your Heart' release)
'This was high art, and was made possible only by Fleck's willingness to completely submit himself to another musical culture.' (Sydney Morning Herald on Fleck/ Sengaré's live show)