Lucy Duran presents highlights from the Festival on the Niger 2008, with performances by desert blues artist Afel Bocoum, balafon virtuoso Neba Solo and singer Mangala Camara.
Lucy Duran presents highlights from the Festival on the Niger 2008.
The Festival is literally on the Niger, as the performers play from a barge that floats on this great African river. It was started three years ago to promote culture and tourism in that region, to try and tempt travellers on their way to Timbuktu to stop in Segou for a while. The artist line-up is a mix of internationally known Malian artists such as Afel Bocoum from Niafunke, and artists who are popular in Mali but less well known outside.
Afel Bocoum was a musician in the band of the great Ali Farka Toure, and many see him as continuing Ali's tradition. He performs a song especially for the programme, and talks about life in rural Niafunke. Neba Solo is a virtuoso balafon player, who has formed a band which works up a storm with three balafons plus percussion,. Mangala Camara made his name as a lead singer with artists such as Toumani Diabate, and has now started a solo career which has already had a hit: his song 'Minye Minye', which was intended as a critique of politics, was adopted by Mali's President as his campaign song.