Amadou & Mariam
The duo's early recordings in the 1980s and 1990s feature sparse arrangements of guitar and voice. Since the late 1990s Amadou & Mariam produce music that mixes traditional Mali sound with rock guitars, Syrian violins, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian ney, Indian tablas and Dogon percussion. All these elements put together have been referred to as "Afro-blues".
Between 1974 and 1980, Amadou played with Les Ambassadeurs du Hotel. In 1980 the couple married and began to play together as well as Amadou continuing with a successful solo career and running the blind institute's music programme.
By 1985 the couple had made a name for themselves playing Malian blues. They embarked on a tour of Burkina Faso. In 1986 the couple moved to the Côte d'Ivoire and recorded several cassette albums and eventually the album Sou Ni Tile in Paris, which became a hit in France. The duo started playing at festivals around the world.
In 2003 they were approached by World–Latin music star Manu Chao, who then produced their 2004 album Dimanche à Bamako ("Sunday in Bamako"), which also features his distinctive vocals.
In 2006 they recorded, together with Herbert Grönemeyer, the official anthem for the 2006 FIFA World Cup "Celebrate The Day" (German: "Zeit, dass sich was dreht"). The song topped the German charts in June 2006.
In 2008, their song "Sabali" placed 15 on Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Best Tracks of 2008.
Amadou & Mariam won the Best Group category in the inaugural Songlines Music Awards (2009). They have played gigs to support charities around the world such as the homeless charity crisis at the union chapel in north London and theRaise Hope for Congo to make the protection and empowerment of Congo’s women a priority, as well as inspire individuals around the world to raise their voice for peace in Congo.
Label: Wrasse Records | Released: 2009 | Length: 75'56"