Great news, that Malian singer Khaira Arby is finally playing a concert in town with her band. Of course, given the situation in Mali, especially in her region, around Timbuktu, we can all hope not only that she gets here, but that the fighting is resolved soon, and the people there can enjoy peace.
She, Vieux Farka Touré, Bassekou Kouyaté have just released a new single, “La Monde Pour La Paix” pleading for peace.
Khaira first played North America in the late summer of 2010 (and in fact, it was almost the first time she’d ever travelled outside Mali), and made a huge impression on audiences, as did her CD, Timbuktu Tarab.
In Toronto, she sang with the New York group, Sway Machinery, at the Ashkenaz Festival, and also did a live set with them in the CIUT studio. She impressed me enough that I went to Montreal to see her a few weeks later. She’s been back in this part of the world a few times, but never in Toronto — until now.
Small World Music & Batuki Music Society are bringing her to the Lula on May 8. Details here. Should be a fabulous show.
Below, Khaira at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin.