New York (New York), USA – Salif Keita has a new Decca CD, M’Bemba. Set for release on June 20th in North America , the critically acclaimed singer’s follow-up to the 2002 Grammy-nominated Moffou is filled with jubilant melodies and heartfelt passion. M’Bemba, meaning “Grandfather” in the Bambara language, celebrates Keita’s definitive return to his musical Malian roots and culture. Credited as one of the founders of the Afro-pop genre, the West African singer is known the world over for his unforgettable live performances, soaring vocals and his emotionally-fuelled songs.
With a career spanning over 35 years, Salif Keita is regarded as one of World Music’s most influential artists and has recorded numerous albums with some the finest international musicians in jazz, rock and pop including the likes of Carlos Santana, Vemon Reid, Youssou N’Dour and Ray Lema.
The 2002 release of Moffou was the product of his desire to return to his African roots. The entirely acoustic album was one of great power and authenticity which garnered raves by the press.
M’Bemba, the traditional instruments such as the ngoni lute played by Mama Sissoko, and the kora played by Toumani Diabate, evoke the memory of Salif Keita‘s own ancestor, Sundiata Keita, the warrior king who founded the Manding Empire in the 131 century. Representing a genuine piece of family history, the new recording is the first time Salif’s foster-sisters join him on record for the chorus of the title track. Also appearing on the album is dancehall/reggae great, Buju Banton, who lends his talents on the upbeat track “Ladji.”
The same talented group of musicians who performed on Moffou also join Salif on M’Bemba, including Djeli Moussa Kouyate on guitar, Mino Cinellu on percussion, the charismatic presence of Salif s early mentor, guitarist and arranger, Kante Manfila with Ousmane Kouyate also on guitar. Manfila and Kouyate were both in Les Ambassadeurs, a group which Salif joined in the mid-Seventies.
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