Fatoumata Diawara announces UK shows – New album ‘Fenfo’ out on 25 May

May 11, 2018



“Seven years, it turns out, ain’t but a blink of the eye when you’re waiting for a superstar to arrive” ★★★★ MOJO

“Fatoumata Diawara from Mali is a rising star of African Music”
★★★★Evening Standard

Fatoumata Diawara, who releases her new album ‘Fenfo’ through Wagram/Montuno on 25th May, has announced a string of UK shows. Fatoumata will play a special solo set at Rough Trade East on 6th June before performing with her band as part of the Charlotte Church-curated event ‘Utopia’ at Donald Gordon Theatre, Cardiff on 16th June. Diawara will then return to London to appear at The Barbican’s Walthamstow Garden party on 15th July. She has also confirmed a headline show at Hackney Arts Centre on 20th November. Currently being refurbished and due to open in September, the venue is a spectacular disused 1930s cinema on Kingsland High Road and will act as a new cultural hub under the directorship of Auro Foxcroft of Village Underground and in partnership with Community Music.


Weds 6th June          London           Rough Trade East (special solo set – 7pm) – INFO
Sat 16th June             Cardiff             ‘Utopia’ at Donald Gordon Theatre   TICKETS


Sun 15th July             London           Walthamstow Garden Party    – INFO
Tues 20th Nov           London           Hackney Arts Centre     – TICKETS

Hailed as one of the most vital standard-bearers of modern African music, Fatoumata Diawara takes her artistry to fresh and thrilling heights on her new album ‘Fenfo’. Boldly experimental yet respectful of her roots, it’s a record that defines her as the voice of young African womanhood – proud of her heritage but with a vision that looks confidently to the future and a message that is universal.

Her spectacular 2011 debut album ‘Fatou’ was hailed by Pitchfork as a “beguiling album” that “simply surrounds you with its atmosphere”, The Guardian described it as “spellbinding” and Gilles Peterson declared Fatoumata to be “one of the most exciting talents I’ve heard in a long time” making the Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and acclaimed actress the most talked about new African artist of recent years. ‘Fenfo’, which translates as “something to say”, dramatically fulfils that promise on a set of vivid and original new compositions that draw on the rich experiences she has enjoyed since. “I’ve had so many different musical adventures since the last album, touring and working with so many other musicians and I think you can hear how all of that feeds into this record,” she says. “This is my time and I’m sharing my soul.”


The eleven songs on ‘Fenfo’ – sung mostly in Bambara – cover such timeless subjects as respect, humility, love, migration, family and how to build a better world for our children. “I didn’t want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage,” she explains. “But I wanted a modern sound because that’s the world I live in. I’m a traditionalist, but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences, but communicate them in a different style.”

“Fenfo’ expresses how I feel and how I want to sound,” Fatoumata says. “It’s a record that says who I am.”

Diawara has previously worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary music. She recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock; played Glastonbury and other major festivals; and toured/recorded with the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. She assembled a West African super-group featuring Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangaré and Toumani Diabaté to record a song calling for peace in her troubled homeland; and climbed aboard Damon Albarn’s star-studded Africa Express, which culminated in her sharing a stage with Sir Paul McCartney. Diawara most recently appeared at Carnegie Hall alongside David Crosby, Chris Thile, Snarky Puppy and others for an evening of topical protest music. Rolling Stones noted that “the singer and guitarist, originally from Mali, provided two of the night´s most striking moments. Her ode to the power of women ´Mousso´ sung in her native language, was hypnotic, and her captivating stage spins enhanced her anthem ´Unite´”.




Diawara continues to pursue a successful career as an actress, including an acclaimed appearance in 2014´s Timbuktu (Le chagrin des oiseaux), which received both BAFTA and Academy Award nominations, as well as working courageously as a social activist, campaigning against the trafficking and sale of black migrants in Libyan slave markets and recording the song “Djonya” (meaning ‘slavery’, in Bambara) in which she restates the universal, but often sadly disregarded truth that we all belong to the same human race regardless of colour, ethnicity or religion.

Fatoumata Diawara European Live Dates 2018:

Sun 13th – Guitar Fest – Barcelona, Spain
Sat 19th – Corbak Festival – La Chaux-du-Milieux, Switzerland
Sat 26th – Massala Festival – Hannover, Germany
Thu 31st – Int´l Africa Festival – Wurzburg, Germany

Sun 3rd – Odéon – Théâtres Romains de Fourvière – Lyon, France
Wed 6th June – Rough Trade East – London, UK
Fri 8th – Festival Musik à Pile Saint-Denis-De-Pile, France
Sat 16th June – ‘Utopia’ at Donald Gordon Theatre – Cardiff, UK
Fri 22nd – Festival d’Essaouira Gnaoua Essaouira, Morocco
Sun 24th – Etnojazz Poland – Wroclaw, Poland
Thu 28th – Fort Kleber – Wolfisheim, France
Fri 29th – Kulturzentrum Tollhaus E.V. – Karlsruhe, Germany

Sun 1st – Fort Kleber – Wolfisheim, France
Sun 8th – Rudolstadt Festival – Rudolstadt, Germany
Wed 11th – Théâtre Verdière – Ccas – La Rochelle, France
Sat 14th – Festival Cruilla – Barcelona, Spain
Sun 15th July – Walthamstow Garden Party – London, UK
Sun 22nd – Place des Tonneliers, Meze, France
Fri 27th – La Mar de Musicas – Cartagena, Spain
Sat 28th – Iboga Summer Festival – Valencia, Spain

Sun 5th – Concertgebouw – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wed 8th – Chapiteau, Marciac, France
Fri 24th – Roi Arthur Festival – Montfort, France
Sat 25th – Les Galletes du Monde – Saint Anne-D’auray, France
Sun 26th – Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden – Wuppertal, Germany

Sat 6th – Joshua Tree Music Festival Joshua Tree, CA (USA)

Mon 1st – Oslo World Music – Oslo, Norway
Tue 20th Nov – Hackney Arts Centre – London, UK

Tue 11th – Le Trianon – Paris, France

Sat 2nd – L’aqueduc – Dardilly, France




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