Fatoumata Diawara & Roberto Fonseca
15th July 2014 21:00tuesday
Main stageHoly Trinity Square
A transatlantic meeting between Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara and Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca
On one hand, a musician esteemed in jazz, traditional Cuban and also the latest urban sounds, Roberto Fonseca today proves that he is worthy of all of these titles and more. His last album ‘YO’ is an invitation to go on a journey of discovery between his African roots and their multiple expressions on both sides of the Atlantic. On the other hand, Fatoumata Diawara, one of the most noted voices of her generation to come out of Mali, whose music reinvents the rhythms and melodies of her home country, all with her warm and affecting voice at its centre. Her album ‘Fatou’ responds to the suffering of African youth of today and underlines the importance of staying grounded.
This exciting new experiment will see the two young artists explore their shared passions, so be prepared to re-discover live both as you never heard them before!
Fatoumata Diawara - Voice & electric Guitar
Roberto Fonseca - Piano, key & Vocal
Joel Hierrezuelo - Percussion & vocal
Ramsés Rodríguez - Drums
Yandi Martinez - Electric and Acoustic Bass
Sidibé Drissa - kamalen Ngoni & Vocal
Bah Sekou - Electric Guitar & vocal
The Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara (aka Fatou) was born in Africa in 1982. As a child, she was dancing in her father’s dance troupe, and after the she was acting in films and on stage, and she was constantly moving between Mali and Paris. With the French theater company, Royal de Luxe, Fatou performed a variety of roles around the world including tours in Vietnam, Mexico and throughout Europe.
Between tours she was singing in Parisian clubs, that is how she met Cheikh Tidiane Seck. The celebrated Malian musician and producer who invited her to travel with him back to Mali to work on two projects as chorus vocalist. One of these projects was “Red Earth” the GRAMMY winning Malian project by American jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater. That is how Fatou's singing career started.
When she returned to France, she decided to live only for her passion, music. She wrote an album's worth of songs, in which she was playing the guitar, percussions, and she was singing the lead and harmony vocals as well. Whe Oumou Sangaré heard her songs, she helped Fatou in releasing her debut album.
Between recording sessions she found time to collaborate on Damon Albarn's Africa Express and contribute vocals to albums by Cheikh Lô, AfroCubism, Herbie Hancock's Grammy winning Imagine Project and Orchestra Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou.
Fatou's EP titled Kanou was released in 2011, followed by her debut full length album Fatou to much critical acclaim.
Following the release Fatoumata performed as part of Damon Albarn’s album and live project “Rocket Juice and the Moon”. Fatou also featured Roberto Fonseca’s most recent release YO and on Bobby Womack’s album The Bravest Man In The Universe.
Roberto Fonseca (Born 1975, in Havana, his father was a drummer, his mother a professional singer) is one of the most charismatic Cuban musician of his generation. He was only 8, when he started playing the piano. He began composing at age 14, and made his debut at Havana’s International Jazz Festival at the tender age of 15.
He got to fill in for his deceased idol, Rubén González pianist's place in the Buena Vista Social Club in 2003. Since then, he has been one of the core members of the band, there are no albums without him, and for a long time there the band wasn't touring without him either. He has played on stage with the likes of Omara Portuondo, Herbie Hancock, and he was the producer of Ibrahim Ferrer's last album.
In 2007 he started his solo career with the release of his album Zamazu, and in 2013 his album Yo was nominated for the Grammy Award, as the best Latin Jazz album. Compared to his six earlier albums (Tiene que ver, No limit, Elengo, Zamazu, Akokan, Live in Marciac), his latest is the most adventurous, in which Fonseca experiments with mixing new vibes with traditional acoustic sounds. He is respectful of his Afro-Cuban roots, but at the same time reforms the Cuban music scene.
He has made changes to his 5-member Jazz band, and at his concerts he uses the uses Hammond Organ, congas, and drums. He mixes electronic sound with traditional African vibes, in an attempt to synthesize the Afro-Cuban groove and griot traditions. When he plays the piano, he is the embodiment of music himself. On some occasions, he even stands up, and uses the piano as percussions, or drives the audience into an euphoric state by grabbing a drum, and turning his band into a comparsa, a Cuban conga band at carnivals.