Last Wednesday evening I was privileged to see Fatoumata Diawara. It was the launch of the Paris-based Malian singer songwriter’s new album Fenfo (Montuno/Wagram label) at Rough Trade East In London’s Brick Lane. She was performing solo, just voice and guitar and some backing tracks to occasionally multiply the chorus. She finished the set with an emotional accappela track. She gave me goose pimples as soon as she started singing – she is an incredible performer; the combination of her voice, spirit and beauty is something else. I was also moved to tears as were a number of people around me. I had previously seen her perform at The Jazz Cafe back in 2011 when she launched her album Fatou, and enjoyed hearing her musical collaborations with Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. She also features in the Malian director Sissako’s 2014 powerful feature film Timbuktu, which I highly recommend.
Here are some pictures I took on the night:
For Fatoumata Diawara’s future tour dates see her website. She is due to return to the UK with her full band in July and November of this year.