Singer Khaira Arby Won Mali’s highly respected Tamani D’Or Award, distinguishing her as among Mali’s greatest artists of the last 50 years. Given by the Malian music industry, the award states that: “The General Directors of the Tamani d’Or have the real pleasure to announce that you are distinguished as the best Malian musical artist of the past 50 years.”
The Tamani Awards honors newcomers and established performers from Mali. Previous awardees have included such greats as Oumou Sangare, Salif Keita, Bassekou Kouyate, Toumani Diabate, Ali Farka Toure, and many more.
Arby is one of only a few women who have received this honor and also one of only a few artists from Mali ‘s north to win recognition for her achievements and contribution to Mali’s culture and arts. Arby was thrilled to receive the award’s statuette, a golden “talking drum,” at a recent gala in Bamako.
“It has been wonderful to have my music so well received around the world,” Arby noted, reflecting on the award. “It is also very moving to have my work recognized in Mali.”
Arby’s breakthrough album, Timbuktu Tarab (Clermont Music),and two recent U.S. concert tours have won her critical and audience acclaim from Brooklyn to San Francisco. Now, Khaira has been honored for her creative work at home with the Tamani d’Or, as she prepares to conquer Europe with her music.
While influenced by the desert blues of Tinariwen, Arby adds an intensity and vocal flexibility that can soothe and rouse, move and motivate.