Past Event

Awa Sangho: Malian Blues Singer

(Photo By Richard Conde)

As the museum programming for this month focused on the global roots of jazz, we took a closer look at the other home of the blues, Mali. The political unrest in northern Mali is having a particularly devastating effect on the country’s musicians. Music is being banned in the country known best for the sounds it produces. Cheich Tidiane Seck, a renowned Malian musician and producer says, “Music regulates the life of every Malian…from the cradle to the grave. From ancient times right up to today. A Mali without music? No … give me another one!"

In this edition of Harlem Speaks we had the incredible Malian blues singer Awa Sangho discussing and demonstrating the blues tradition in Mali. She will also chronicle the effect the conflict is wreaking there. Awa was born in Dire, a town in Northern Mali that has been home to some of the greatest names in African music. The interview was conducted by Dr. Cheryl Sterling, NYU Professor of Africana studies, post-colonial theory, and gender and identity studies.

This discussion was extremely stimulating and informative, peppered with the gorgeous blues music of Mali.

(Photo by Kevin Walsh)