Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present

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Boubacar Traoré

Boubacar Traoré live in concert. Image courtesy of the artist.


Sharjah Art Foundation presents pioneer of Malian Mandé blues Boubacar Traoré live in concert as part of the Sharjah Biennial 15 Music Programme.

His guitar sounds both reflect the influence of the kora, a West African stringed instrument, and evoke the blues of the southern United States. A self-taught musician, Traoré found his unique sound by tuning his guitar in line with the tonality of the kora.

In the early 1960s, his rock ’n’ roll and dance sounds were regularly played on Mali National Radio, but due to changes in the political system, his music fell out of favour. After stints as a farmer and shopkeeper in his hometown of Kayes and as a migrant worker in Paris, he was ‘discovered’ in Paris by an English producer, who had him record his first album, Mariama (1990). Since that time, he has explored and refined his interpretations of the blues, Arabic music and the West African pentatonic structures of the Mandé region, creating sounds that appeal to all generations.

The concert features Boubacar Traoré (guitar, vocals), Daouda Diarra (calebasse, vocals), Abdoulaye Dembélé (kamalen n’goni, kora, dozon n’goni, bolon, vocals) and Sissoko (Djeli N`Goni, vocals).

The Sharjah Biennial 15 Music Programme has been made possible with the generous support of Bank of Sharjah and Sharjah Government Media Bureau.

Booking and tickets

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