Known as the Songbird of Wassoulou, Oumou Sangare is one of the great ambassadors of Malian music. In 1989, at the young age of 21, Sangare recorded her first album, Moussoulou (Women), and has been performing internationally ever since. The messages on all five of her albums are powerful – encouraging women to seek personal freedom to be themselves, warning against the wrongs of polygamy, and covering taboo subjects like female sensuality in a fundamentally conservative society. A living legend in her home of Bamako, Mali, Sangare has lent her name to products from rice to the Hotel Wassulu, where you can still catch her singing on the weekends. Sangare has performed with other songstress superstars from Tracy Chapman to Alicia Keys and was honored in 2004 at the Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles in the Global Divas concert.
Arabic Music savant Bassam Saba “weaves together Lebanese and Arabic folk music with Turkish Gypsy styles and Russian motifs, playing oud flutes, violin and buzuq… surprisingly funksome stuff.” (Time Out NY) Currently based out of New York City, Saba has worked with artists from Yo-Yo Ma to Paul Simon to Santana and continues to teach and conduct Arabic music.
The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is one of New York City's longest running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals and is held every summer at the Prospect Park Bandshell. View seating arrangements here.
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