ACCLAIMED MALIAN SINGER’S FIRST ALBUM IN SIX YEARS
Malian singer Oumou Sangare’s first album in six years, Seya, will be released by World Circuit/Nonesuch Records on June 9. Since its release earlier this year in the U.K. and Europe, Seya has received critical acclaim from outlets including MOJO, The Times, Uncut, The Independent, and Observer Music Monthly, which calls the record “a masterpiece.” This summer, Sangare tours major festivals in support of the new record. Please see reverse for a complete schedule of performances.
Since her debut release Moussoulou rocketed her to national stardom in 1989, Sangare has retained her position as one of West Africa’s most outspoken artists. Her trademark Wassoulou sound is rooted in a deep attachment to the culture of Wasulu, the remote forest region in the south of Mali from which her family hails. The New York Times calls Sangare, “The most important female singer in Mali today.”
Sangare began recording Seya in the Malian capital of Bamako with a core group of the musical city’s notable artists including long time collaborator Benego Diakite on kamele ngoni (Wassoulou harp), Massambou Wele Diallo (arranger), and Neba Solo (balafon), among many others. She enlisted the Malian arranger and producer Cheikh Tidiane Seck, pushing the boundaries of Wassoulou music with a diverse line-up of guest contributors including Tony Allen (drums), Fred Wesley (trombone), Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone), and Magic Malik (flute). World Circuit head Nick Gold co-produced the record with Sangare and Seck.
As with her previous albums, all of the songs on Seya were written by Sangare, who is known for her incisive commentary on life in Mali. Her work has especially impacted discussions of women’s issues. On Seya, Sangare explores how mortality encourages us to leave a legacy for the next generation, discuses the importance of harmony in marriage, and denounces polygamy. She also calls for parents to stop encouraging under-age marriage.
Listen to the record and watch video here:
Oumou Sangare’s albums and dynamic performances have earned her a devoted following around the worl. She is sought out for collaborations by a wide range of international artists including Alicia Keys, Béla Fleck, Trilok Gurtu, and Meshell Ndegeocello.
Oumou Sangare Tour Dates
July 2 Chicago, IL Millennium Park
July 5 New York, NY Central Park Summerstage
July 6* Portland, ME Stone Mountain Arts Center
July 8† Montreal, QC Festival Int’l De Jazz De Montreal
July 9 Ottawa, ON Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival
July 10-11 Winnipeg, MN Winnipeg Folk Festival
July 12 Toronto, ON Afrofest
July 17 Cabot, VT Sol Harvest
July 18 Trumansburg, NY Fingerlakes GrassRoots Festival
* with Béla Fleck’s The Africa Project
† co-bill with Youssou N’Dour
Submitted by Sacks & Co.