Fatoumata Diawara

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Fatoumata Diawara
Fatoumata Diawara - Festival du Bout du Monde 2012 - 016 - edit.jpg
Fatoumata Diawara, August 2012
Background information
Born 1982 (age 32–33)
Origin Côte d'Ivoire
Genres Folk Wassoulou
Occupation(s) Singer
Labels World Circuit/Nonesuch
Website www.fatoumatadiawara.com

Fatoumata Diawara (born 1982 in Ivory Coast) is a Malian musician currently living in France.


Born in Côte d'Ivoire to Malian parents, Diawara moved to France to pursue acting, appearing in Cheick Oumar Sissoko's 1999 feature film La Genèse, Dani Kouyaté's popular 2001 film Sia, le rêve du python, in the internationally renowned street theatre troupe Royal de Luxe, and played a leading role in the musical Kirikou et Karaba.[1] She later took up the guitar and began composing her own material, writing songs that blend Wassalou traditions of Southern Mali with international influences.[2] Noted for her "sensuous voice,"[3] she has performed or recorded with Malian and international greats such as Cheick Tidiane Seck, Oumou Sangaré,[4] AfroCubism,[5] Dee Dee Bridgewater (on Red Earth: A Malian Journey),[6] and the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou.[7] The EP Kanou was released May 9, 2011, and her debut album Fatou from World Circuit Records was released in September 2011.[8] (Nonesuch Records released the Kanou EP digitally in North America on September 27, 2011, and the album Fatou on August 28, 2012.)[9]

In September 2012, she featured in a campaign called "30 Songs / 30 Days" to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book.[10] September 2012 also saw her board the Africa Express Train with Damon Albarn, Rokia Traoré, Baaba Maal, Amadou and Mariam, Nicolas Jaar, and the Noisettes, amongst many others. The show culminated in a 4.5k venue in Kings Cross where Fatoumata performed with Paul McCartney[11]

Fatoumata has spent the recent years touring the world,[12] with a landmark performance for the English-speaking public at Glastonbury 2013.[13] Alongside many European gigs her schedule has taken her to South America, Asia and Australia[14] as well as on multiple trips to the US, where in September 2013 she performed as part of the Clinton Global Initiative alongside The Roots in New York.[15] Since mid-2014 she has been in collaboration with Roberto Fonseca, with numerous live performances and a joint live album, At Home - Live in Marciac, along the way. In 2014 she also extended her list of collaborations by a joint performance with Mayra Andrade and Omara Portuondo. February 2015 saw her first live concert as a meanwhile established international name back home at the Festival Sur Le Niger[16] in Ségou, Mali, where she shared stage once again with her long-time friend and mentor, Oumou Sangaré, with Bassekou Kouyaté and many other domestic acts.

Alongside, she has continued her cinematic activities, with numerous roles, appearances and musical input in multiple feature films, such as the seven times César Award winning and Academy Award nominated 2014 Timbuktu.


Fatoumata Diawara band performing at the World Beat Music festival. Austin, Texas, 2013





  • 2011 : Kanou EP (World Circuit - Album)


With Les Balayeurs du désert[edit]

Via association with Royal de Luxe; several of the songs used to be played as accompaniment in Royal de Luxe's 'giant puppets' street performances throughout the world.


  1. ^ Chabasseur, Eglantine. "Fatoumata Diawara Reinvented", RFI musique, April 8, 2009, accessed June 8, 2011.
  2. ^ [1], BBC Radio 3, November 13, 2010, accessed June 8, 2011.
  3. ^ Forgan, Kat. “Staff Brenda Bilili”. “Songlines”, July 2011, p.104-105.
  4. ^ Cummings, Tim. "Oumou Sangare, Barbican Hall, London", The Independent, April 28, 2009, accessed June 8, 2011.
  5. ^ Phillips, Glyn. "AfroCubism", WorldMusic.co.uk, accessed June 8, 2011.
  6. ^ Stoudmann, Elisabeth. "Fatoumata Diawara: Nouvelle deesse malienne". Vibrations, June 2011
  7. ^ Denselow, Robin. "Orchestre Poly-Rythmo: Cotonou Club", The Guardian, March 24, 2011, accessed June 8, 2011.
  8. ^ Denselow, Robin (September 15, 2011). "Fatoumata Diawara: Fatou – review". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Fatoumata Diawara". Nonesuch.com. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  10. ^ http://www.halftheskymovement.org/blog/entry/30-songs-30-days-for-half-the-sky1
  11. ^ Jonze, Tim. "The African journey is over – but what an amazing ride". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  12. ^ "Past Dates". Bands in Town. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  13. ^ Morgan, Andy. "Mali hits Glastonbury: Rokia Traoré, Fatoumata Diawara and more". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  14. ^ "Past Events". Bands in Town. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  15. ^ "2013 Clinton Global Citizen Awards". Clinton Global Initiative. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  16. ^ Pryor, Tom. "Field Report: Festival Sur Le Niger 2015". Afropop Worldwide. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  17. ^ http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/100009821/year/2014.html

External links[edit]