22 May, 2007

Salif Keita

"Salif Keita, born in 1949 in Djoliba, is sometimes called the Golden Voice of Africa. He is a direct descendent of Sundiata Keita, the Mandinka warrior king who founded the Malian empire in the 13th century. Born an albino - a sign of bad luck - Keita was shunned and ostracized by his family and community alike. His poor eyesight also contributed to his personal sense of alienation. In 1967 he moved to Bamako where he began playing in nightclubs with one of his brothers. Two years later he joined the 16 member, government sponsored Rail Band that played at the Bamako railway station's Buffet Hotel de la Gare - a very choice gig at the time. In 1973 he left the Rail Band along with Kante Manfila (guitarist, composer, and leader of the band) to join Les Ambassadeurs." African Music Encyclopeadia
More On Keita: Official Site, Albums, last.fm Wikipedia
Image: Flickr

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