Rokia Traoré | SFJAZZ

Rokia Traoré

Rokia Traoré


Rokia Traoré

Wednesday, November 2, 7:30pm
at SFJAZZ Center, Miner Auditorium

Malian Singer-Songwriter Series: Rokia Traoré  

Rokia Traoré

Mixing the music of her native Mali with strains of rock, blues, jazz and American roots music, multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré is called “Africa’s most inventive singer-songwriter” by The Guardian. The daughter of a Bambara diplomat, Traoré travelled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, and the Middle East as a youth, soaking in the cultural influences of her time abroad – experiences that helped shape the omnivorous, global approach of the music she had begun performing by her college years. Mentored by the late Malian music legend Ali Farka Touré, the singer and guitarist made an auspicious debut with 1998’s Mouneïssa, the first of a half-dozen increasingly audacious releases that have consistently placed in the top 10 of the Billboard world music charts and made Traoré an international star. Her 2009 album Tchamantché won the Victoires de la Musique for World Music Album of the Year, and her newest Nonesuch Records release, Né So, is a biting and melancholic statement on the turmoil currently enveloping her homeland featuring guest artists including Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and indie rock luminary Devendra Banhart. The album includes an achingly beautiful new take on “Strange Fruit,” the heartrending anti-racist ballad popularized by Billie Holiday.

Artist Personnel

Rokia Traoré vocals, guitar
Stefano Pilia guitar
Mamah Diabaté n'goni
Zonatan Dembélé bass
Moise Ouattara drums
Bintou Soumbounou vocals

Artist Website

"…Africa’s most inventive singer-songwriter. " — The Guardian
"Her music carries the plucked modal patterns of Malian tradition toward contemplation and intimacy. " — The New York Times
"Traore’s a singer-songwriter in the modern sense who embraces but also stretches centuries-old traditions. " — Chicago Tribune

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