Amadou And Mariam

So, 11.30AM yesterday found me at the train station waiting for my train into London for a spot of work which was unfinished during the week. I bumped into a friend of mine who attends the same church as I do. Anyway, after the pleasantries I asked him where he was going and what he was listening to. He said he was on his way to Leicester to do a spot of music, and that he was listening to Amadou and Mariam. The names got me interested as I have never heard of them. I memorized their names and did a google search of these guys and liked what i read.

Here is a brief bio about them (from Wilkipedia):

Amadou & Mariam are a musical duo from Mali, composed of the couple Amadou Bagayoko (guitar and vocals) (born in Bamako 24 October 1954) and Mariam Doumbia (vocals) (born in Mali’s capital Bamako 15 April 1958). The pair, known as “the blind couple from Mali” met at Mali’s Institute for the Young Blind, and found they shared an interest in music.

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.[citation needed]

In 2003 they were approached by WorldLatin 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 2007 they supported Scissor Sisters at the MEN Arena on 30 July. In summer of 2008, they played the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, Illinois and the Latitude Festival in Henham Park, Suffolk.

In 2008, their song “Sabali” placed 15 on Pitchfork Media‘s Top 100 Best Tracks of 2008.[1]

Amadou & Mariam won the Best Group category in the inaugural Songlines Music Awards (2009) – announced May 1, 2009 – the new ‘world music’ awards organised by the UK-based magazine, Songlines.

On May 26, 2009 they played a gig to support the homeless charity Crisis at the Union Chapel, in north London with David Gilmour playing second guitar supporting the whole 80 minute set and a 5-minute encore. On June 8, 2009 they performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

In 2009, they supported Blur during their two reunion gigs in Hyde Park and also supported UK based band Coldplay on their Viva la Vida Tour. It was recently announced that they have been chosen by Matt Groening to perform at the edition of the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival he is curating in May 2010 in Minehead, England.


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