Fatoumata Diawara is a singer and guitar player from Mali whose lilting voice, fluid guitar playing and effortless melodies recall her countrywoman Rokia Traore. In her teens, she moved to France to pursue an acting career. She appeared in a handful of films and worked with a street theater troupe, but really found her true calling later, when she took up the guitar and started writing songs. Born in Ivory Coast to Malian parents and raised in southern Mali, Diawara grew up hearing Wassoulou music, a song style that’s thought by some ethnomusiclogists to be one of the main pre-colonial ancestors of blues. The Wassoulou cultural area is now split between three countries, but it has a history that extends back centuries, and Diawara merges that long, traditional history with a modern, globalized sensibility on her debut album.

She is one of a growing number of musicians working on a sort of pan-folk sound that incorporates influences from across a broad Afro-Western cultural spectrum.

Photo Galleries

Fatoumata Diawara (Mali) appears on the following photo galleries:

Past Events

Fatoumata Diawara (Mali) has performed on the following Selam events:

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