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How a Mali band changed the face of world music - Dazed

Text: Kemi Alemoru

These photographs tell the story of the African and Latin musicians that blended together Malian sounds with Cuban rhythm during the time of decolonisation and Fidel Castro


© Malick Sidibé (Arles Photo Festival)


There’s nothing quite like a swinging 60s coming of age tale, better yet a snapshot of ‘Swinging Bamako’, Mali’s capital and a group of young musicians that made their mark on both African and Latin music.

Known for their musical prowess, a young group of Malians set sail for Cuba to study the fundamentals of musical theory; Malick Sidibé’s work captures the group’s story of adventure, creativity, and cultural fusion. As part of the “Africa Pop” section of the Arles Photography Festival, Las Maravillas de Mali’s unique history will be exhibited from 4 July to 25 September.

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“The only band to sing in Spanish, Bambara and French. Mingling Cuban influences and traditional Malian sounds, they define that which is now known as world music”– Richard Minier, exhibition's curator

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How a Mali band changed the face of world music - Dazed - © 2010-2017 The Contemporary African Art Collection - Contact Caacart - Seydou Keita Photographer, the official website, new, click here