Program: Bamako to Birmingham ft. Amadou & Mariam and Blind Boys of Alabama

May 01, 2022
Berklee Performance Center

Jimmy Carter – singer
Ricky McKinnie – singer
Ben Moore – singer
Joey Williams – singer / guitar
Amadou Bagayoko – singer / guitar
Mariam Doumbia – singer
Sam Dickey – bass
Yves Abady – drums

Afropop duo Amadou & Mariam and soulful gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama present a culturally satisfying fusion of contemporary African sounds and African-American roots music.

The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammys, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans more than 70 years. The Blind Boys are known for crossing multiple musical boundaries with their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by songwriters such as Eric Clapton, Prince, and Tom Waits. They have appeared on recordings with many artists, including Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Susan Tedeschi, Ben Harper, Patty Griffin, and Taj Mahal.

For the past 40-odd years, Amadou & Mariam have managed to joyfully combine their love story with a musical career while becoming, discreetly but surely, the most famous ambassadors for Malian music---and indeed African music---all around the world; a golden status that they carry with brio and playfully challenge with each new album.

Amadou & Mariam have collaborated with many people and worked with producers that seem far removed from their universe, like Damon Albarn of Blur and Manu Chao. They have invited the best artists who are building tomorrow’s pop music (Santigold, TV On The Radio, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) to play on their naive and lively songs and have had their tracks remixed by Yuksek, Vitalic, Henrik Schwarz, Miike Snow, and Ashley Beedle, leading the songs to the dance floor and underlining their intrinsically danceable quality. They’ve played the world’s biggest festivals, from Coachella to Glastonbury, and opened for huge bands such as Coldplay and the Scissor Sisters. By enriching their Afropop with new pigments and introducing to the world the richness and subtleties of African music, the duo has brought African music to the charts and to the dance floor.

They’ve inspired many artists to mix Afro and electro sounds, such as MHD, DJ Mujava, Awesome Tapes From Africa, Four Tet, and Jamie xx. This is proof that, if in the 80s certain crazy minds had fantasies of a Sono Mondiale, Amadou & Mariam are the ones who have made it a reality.

For more information
Amadou & Mariam Website
Blind Boys of Alabama Website

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