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Concert Oumou Sangare


70 minutes

Isabelle Soulard

Polygone Onze

Oumou Sangaré belongs to this fairly austere tradition embodied by the women
of Wassoulou, a region rather privileged by its agricultural wealth in the
south of Mali… Very distant from the art of the great Mandingo griotes who in
a very “vertical” way fairly close to the bel canto compete with the
disheveled improvisations of harpists and xylophonists the Wassoulou style is
more archaic and fairly repetitive. He has established himself for several
years in all of West Africa and also in Europe and the USA where he is
perceived as a hypothetical ancestor of blues and rock ... Oumou Sangaré has
thus become a superstar of world music. She did nothing for that but the name
of her region ("wassoulou") is recognized thanks to her as that of a new style
which seduces all of West Africa by revaluing traditional instruments which
were once in the process of disappearance such as cowbell on calabash the
lute kamele n'goni (that of the young) or dozo n'goni (that of the hunters).
The worldwide success of Oumou Sangaré proves that the adoption of "modern"
instruments stemming from colonization - apart from the guitar which became
established in the 17th century - is not inevitable in the evolution of
African music.

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