|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6142
|For Immediate Release
October 20, 2000
Oumou Sangare to Perform with Habib Koite and Bamada at UNCA Oct. 31
World-class musical sensation Oumou Sangare will perform with Afro-pop star Habib Koite and his band Bamada at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, in UNCA’s Lipinsky Auditorium. The event is co-sponsored by UNCA’s Cultural and Special Events Committee and the International Student Association.
In her home countrty of Mali, Oumou Sangare has been a national heroine since the age of 21. Sangare is a wassoulou singer, performing the folk music of the Manding people. But Sangare is more than just a vocalist: she is a member of the West African Hall of Fame, a social commentator, champion of women’s rights and an eloquent spokesperson for her generation and her sex.
Sangare was born in Bamako in 1968. Her mother, also a singer, was one of three wives in a traditional polygamous marriage. This custom left a deep impression on Sangare, who vowed to bring it to internation attention. Her tenacity and talent led Sangare to immediate and overwhelming fame: her 1989 debut became the biggest-selling cassette in West Africa. True to her word, Sangare’s musical message has overwhelmingly focused on women’s issues, especially the battle to end polygamy. With her imposing stature, defiant beauty, courageous intelligence and extraordinary voice, Sangare continues to impress and amaze international audiences.
Born in 1958, Habib Koite comes from a noble lineage of Khassonke griots. Though his childhood filled was filled with music, Koite was headed for a career as an engineer. At the insistence of his uncle, who recognized his talent, Koite instead enrolled at the National Institute of Arts in Bamako, Mali. He studied music for four years, graduating at the top of his 1982.
Drawing on the rich traditions of Malian music mixed with modern sound, Koite formed his group Bamada in 1988. The band includes master percussionist Bab Sissoko, Souleyman Ann on drums and vocals, Abdoul Wahab Berthe on bass and Boubacar Sidibe on guitar, harmonica and vocals.
In 1991, Koite and his band began winning prestigious international music awards, which eventually enabled them to tour outside Africa. They became a fixture on the European festival circuit and their first album, "Muso Ko," quickly soared to the number three on the European World Music Charts.
Tickets for the performances are $18 general admission and $10 children under age 16. Tickets are available 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the UNCA Ticket Office, Highsmith Center room 27, and may be charged by phone by calling 828/251-6584 during the hours listed above. Tickets are also available at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St., downtown Asheville.
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