Khaira Arby talks music and politics with CBC Music: new unreleased songs

Khaira put on a great show at the Lula Lounge last Tuesday (May 8). She also spoke with CBC. The page has a few new unreleased songs available online Khaira Arby talks music and politics, shares exclusive new songs CBC Music – Free Streaming Radio, Videos, Songs, Concerts & Playlists.

Don’t miss Khaira Arby May 8: “It’s boom! It’s flash! It’s great!”

Anyone who’s followed this website, or my newsletter for the last couple of years, knows that I’m a huge fan of the Malian singer Khaira Arby. Over the summer of 2010, I followed news & reviews of her first-ever North American tour, and finally saw her perform in Toronto that September, at the Ashkenaz Festival and also in the CIUT studios. She was indeed, an amazing singer, but here, she was singing as a guest with the New York City Band, Sway Machinery. So later that month,  I took the train to Montreal to catch her performing with her own … Continue reading

The crisis in Mali, Tuareg music and rebellion

For some people, when you say “Timbuktu”, it is like the end of the world, but that is not true. I am from Timbuktu, and I can tell you we are right at the heart of the world. — Ali Farka Touré. from the liner notes to his 1994 album, Talking Timbukutu In 1994, I was looking forward to seeing the great Malian guitarist for the first time, in a concert with American Ry Cooder, with whom he had recorded the above CD. However, not long before that concert, word came out that Touré had cancelled his tour, because of … Continue reading

Khaira Arby at the Lula May 8

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 … Continue reading

Assorted Notes: Duke Ellington, Khaira Arby, Cesaria Evora, and more

From here and there… Duke Ellington: Jan 2 – live concert only $1.00! I found some parts of the Dec. 31, 1942 Toronto Star stuffed into a crack in my basement wall recently. While the war dominated headlines, the ad for Duke Ellington’s January 2 performance at the Royal York — advance tickets $1 — was the best find for me. We’re 69 years late for this bargain… Also on the same page: – New Year’s Eve — “Toronto’s gayest frolic”– for only $2 at the Humber Pier Ballroom, a “Fireproof building” – Yehudi Menuhin at Massey Hall on Jan. … Continue reading

Newport Folk & WOMAD festival: audio, video, photos online

Two major music festivals were held last weekend: The Newport Folk Festival and in England, WOMAD.  Some info, audio, video and photos from those events: NEWPORT Most concerts are archived online on the NPR website. Last night, I enjoyed Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s performance (with Pete Seeger guesting). One of a kind, and a true treasure. Ramblin’ Jack will be at Hugh’s Room on Sep. 24. A quote from Seeger at the Festival: “When kids get older, they realize that a lullaby is a propaganda song” WOMAD From The Guardian: a review and some photos (Featuring a couple of my favourites: … Continue reading

Musical notes from here & there

A few random musical notes Khaira Arby: The singer from Mali made her first North American tour last fall. Here in Toronto, she sang at the Ashkenaz Festival over Labour Day weekend as a guest with the New York group Sway Machine (and also earlier that day live on air at CIUT FM).  I was impressed enough with her that I went to Montreal later that month to see her with her own band at the Club Balletou. A great performer (live and on her CD, Timbuktu Tarab), she’s now on her third trip to North America, but sadly, nobody … Continue reading