Manu Chao filled Mexico City’s Foro Sol last October with hundreds of thousands of fans, and with good reason: the French-born musician is usually a crowd-pleaser with his enchantingly silly lyrics and repetitive beats.
But even many of Chao’s fans haven’t checked out a lesser-known fusion of his Spanish-influenced producing and singing skills with those of Malian couple Amadou et Mariam. “The Blind Couple from Mali,” as the pair is known, is an exceptionally talented duo, many of their songs can be accurately described with the adjective “beautiful.” They met at a school for the blind in the dusty West African country and originally started out singing at local weddings and festivals.
“Dimanche à Bamako,” or Sunday in Bamako (Mali’s capital), is full of amazing tracks in Spanish, French, and Bambara. Again, continents collide.
I saw them perform in New York a few summers ago, and they lit up the stage. Bienvenido a Malí: