Africa Unplugged: Music in 21st Century Mali

Film on Tuesday, November 1: "They will have to Kill us First"

Concert on Wednesday, November 2: Trio Da Kali

"Music was once Mali's best-known cultural export," according to TIME Magazine. As the popularity of World Music has grown over the past few decades, Mali has produced some of the most influential musicians to emerge from Africa. ArtsLIVE has hosted a number of the best: Mamadou Diabate (’03), Vieux Farka Touré (’07), Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba (’11), Fatoumata Diawara (’12), and Sekou Kouyate (with Joe Driscoll) (‘14). In recent years, with the rise of Islamic jihadism, this essential cultural tradition has been threatened—and in some places, silenced.

Film - Malian MusicFilm

They Will Have to Kill Us First

DATE: Tuesday, November 1

TIME: 7:30 PM

PLACE: Sears Recital Hall, Jesse Philips Humanities Center

TICKETS: FREE, no advance reservation required

This feature-length documentary follows musicians in Mali in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music. Music in Mali disappeared overnight in 2012 when Islamic extremist groups rose up to capture an area the size of the UK and France combined. But rather than lay down their instruments, Mali’s musicians fought back. Declared “Essential viewing” (Dazed & Confused), and “A gripping, powerful documentary” (Indiewire), this film provides raises questions about the importance of cultural heritage and human rights.

AviateThis event is PATH point eligible.


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Trio Da Kali

DATE: Wednesday, November 2


PLACE: Sears Recital Hall, Jesse Philips Humanities Center

TICKETS: $16 general admission; $12 UD affiliation and senior discount; $8 students.

Call 937-229-2545 or purchase online [available beginning Sept 1].

Trio Da Kali is a group of musicians from the Mande culture of southern Mali; they come from a long line of distinguished griots or West African storytellers/musicians. The Trio—Hawa Kasse Mady Diabaté (voice); Lassana Diabaté (ngoni); and Mamadou Kouyaté (balafon), eldest son of Bassekou Kouyaté—brings a contemporary twist to ancient and neglected repertoires. Trio Da Kali only came into being in late 2012: the Trio formed specifically to develop a project with the legendary Kronos Quartet, whose artistic director David Harrington described it as "one of the most beautiful collaborations Kronos has had in our first 40 years." The ensemble is on a rare American tour, offering audiences in North America an opportunity to hear some of the very best of Malian music.


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