BOMBYX Center for Arts & Equity (130 Pine St., Northampton, MA 01062, Northampton MA)
Fatoumata Diawara’s captivating stage presence and contemporary perspective make her one of Africa’s most vital international stars. A multiple Grammy nominee noted for the electric power of her music, her live performances “scream with energy” (NPR). Diawara harmonizes the Wassoulou traditions of Southern Mali with soul, R&B and funk to create a boldly experimental sound uniquely her own. Her vivid and original songs cover such timeless subjects as love, respect, migration, family and how to build a better world. She has worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary music. She recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock; played Glastonbury and other major festivals; and toured with the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. She assembled a West African super-group featuring Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangaré and Toumani Diabaté to record a song calling for peace in her troubled homeland; and climbed aboard Damon Albarn’s star-studded Africa Express, which culminated in her sharing a stage with Sir Paul McCartney. She has teamed up with Damon Albarn again for a new tune (with an amazing video) called “Nsera” and she is on tour opening for Albarn’s Gorillaz this winter. The track is the first offering from her new album due out in 2023.