Portraits of the Malian musicians Fatoumata Diawara and on the right Amadou & Mariam

An Evening in Mali featuring Fatoumata Diawara + Amadou & Mariam

Somerset House Summer Series with American Express

Fri 12 Jul 2024
Doors 19.30
£41.25 (includes £3.75 booking fee)

For telephone bookings call 0333 320 2836. Lines are open between 09.00 - 18.00 - Mon-Fri, 10.00 - 18.00 - Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays.

The Edmond J. Safra
Fountain Court

Our opening Friday night is an unmissable celebration of the brightest and boldest Malian music, featuring rising star Fatoumata Diawara and the legendary duo, Amadou & Mariam.

Fatoumata Diawara continues to innovate on each successive project, rewriting the rules and rewiring traditional African musical forms and rhythms with unexpected colours from Afrobeat, jazz, pop, electro and even hip hop.

She strikes a perfect balancing act between synthetic sounds and traditional Malian rhythms, underpinned with cut glass lyrics. The playful mixture of genres can be understood as a means of emancipation which cuts across geographical spaces, as we see in the title of her latest album, London Ko. Her collaboration with Damon Albarn gives rise to a new world fusion connecting Bamako and London, presenting imaginary new worlds that are boldly illustrated by the opening single Nsera, and the explosive video by Gregory Ohrel. This is an artist who can conjure up a vivid relationship with Africa, dismantling the unconscious collective stereotypes and myths of the continent and its diaspora.

London Ko features a raft of sumptuous collaborations, with Ghanaian rapper M.anifest, Yemi Alade, neo-soul pioneer Angie Stone, Cuban piano virtuoso Roberto Fonseca, -M- and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus lending their voices and talents to the mix. While retaining traditions, Fatoumata Diawara’s music gives us a prophetic vision of what Africa can do.

Fatoumata Diawara ft Damon Albarn, Nsera

One of Africa’s most successful and popular musical pairings, Amadou & Mariam’s story is one of the most inspiring tales in the music world; a love affair that propelled two veterans of Mali’s music industry, who first recorded together in the 1970s, into the charts and around the globe.

After seven acclaimed international albums, gold and platinum discs and countless sold-out concerts, Damon Albarn told The Observer: “I don’t think there’s ever been a band from Africa with whom people have engaged in quite such a way.

Amadou & Mariam have steadily become one of Africa’s hottest musical exports, becoming regulars at Albarn’s Africa Express events, collaborating with the likes of Johnny Marr, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Amadou’s musical hero, David Gilmour, enlisted him as second guitarist for a London date. The duo has appeared on the Main Stage at Glastonbury, criss-crossed America, supported Blur at Hyde Park, toured with Coldplay and U2 and performed at a Nobel Peace Prize concert in honour of Barack Obama.

Mogolu, their latest single, is composed by Manu Chao and produced by Pierre Juarez (M, Sidiki Diabaté, Toumami, Fatoumata Diawara) and embraces the new Afropop vibe, featuring Malian blues and vocoder.

Join us for what’s sure to be an uplifting and celebratory Friday night of the very best in Malian music.

Amadou & Mariam, Mogolu

In partnership with

Metropolis Music