Afropop’s Sean Barlow reports that the Musicians for Mali grassroots benefit concert last Saturday, September 22, in New York city was sold out. “It was truly special,” says Barlow. “People were genuinely moved. And one blistering performance after another by the cream of the crop of Malian musicians in New York.”
“One moment I’ll never forget is when Toumani Diabate in a taped video message from Bamako called on everyone to be an ambassador for Mali, an ambassador for peace,” added Barlow. “He then asked everyone in the room to stand up as he played the Malian national anthem. Everyone stood up and listened in total silence. I barely held it together. Many people testified how much they loved Malian music, how much Mali has given the world. And it felt fitting to give back to Mali.”
The funds raised will support aid work by the non-profit organizations Relief International and Instruments4Africa. Contributions will go directly to their programs assisting Malians who have been forced to flee their homes in the north of country due to the political and humanitarian crisis there.
Read Afropop’s account of events :