(schedule of performers is subject to change)
Over the last few years big-selling albums such as ''Welcome to Mali'' and ''Dimanche à Bamako'' have taken Amadou and Mariam on an epic journey that has made the couple the best-selling - and best-loved - act to come out of Africa this century.
They met in 1977 while attending the Institute for Young Blind in Bamako (where to this day they play an annual benefit concert). Their unique mix of unforgettable pop melodies and contagious rhythms, driven by Amadou's bluesy electric guitar and the compelling interplay of their two voices may have its roots deeply planted in Africa. Yet this is music for the world, rather than 'world music', that effortlessly transcends classification or genre, fad and fashion. It remains as popular across Africa as it has now become in Europe and America.
Producers and collaborators have included Manu Chao, Damon Albarn, Somalian rapper K'Naan and Keziah Jones to name few. As Blur's Damon Albarn puts it, ''I donʼt think thereʼs ever been a band from Africa with whom people have engaged in quite such a way.''
Frank Waln is an award winning Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist and music producer from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Waln’s awards include three Native American Music Awards, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 2014 Native American 40 Under 40, the 2014 Chicago Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement, and the 2015 3Arts Grant for Chicago Artists.