Tag Archives: Oumar Konate

Artist Profiles: Oumar Konate

Oumar Konate

Virtuoso guitarist and singer-songwriter Oumar Konate was born in Gao, northern Mali. At six, Oumar was leading his first band in the street in front of the family home.

While a student at the National School of Arts (l’Institut National des Arts) in Bamako, Mali’s capital, Oumar recorded his first album Lahidou (The Promise) in 2007. He has since collaborated with many great artists in Malian music; including Vieux Farka Toure, Sidi Toure, Khaira Arby and others.

Oumar was a guest guitarist on Sidi Toure’s 2011 album Sahel Folk. He regularly tours as backing guitarist to Vieux Farka Toure. He leads the house band on the popular monthly television variety show Tounkagouna on Malian National TV ORTM.

In June 2011, Oumar was invited to perform at the Mali Festival in Sweden. He toured the USA with singer Khaira Arby in the spring of 2012 and returned again with his own band in July of that year to perform at Lincoln Center Out of Doors and at the Grassroots Festival near Ithaca, New York.

In January 2012, he appeared at the Festival au Desert, Essakane in Timbuktu, Mali.

“Addoh” (Clermont Music) was Oumar Konaté’s international debut album, released in 2014.

In 2016 he was awarded the Tamani d’Or, the Malian music industry’s leading music award.

“Maya Maya” was released while Mali was in turmoil.

“Live in America” (2017) contains fiery Afro-rock by Oumar Konaté with his power trio on its 2014 tour. The band included Makan Camara and Cheick Siriman Sissoko.

In 2019 Oumar Konate released “I Love You Inna,” recorded in Bamako during the Spring of 2018.

Discography:

Lahidou – The Promise (2007)
Addoh ‎(Clermont Music, 2014)
Maya Maya (Clermont Music, 2016)
Live in America (Clermont Music, 2017)
Oumar Konaté Live In Bamako ‎(Clermont Music, 2018)
I Love You Inna (Clermont Music, 2019)

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A Brilliant Set of Modern Malian Music


Oumar Konate – I Love You Inna

Oumar Konate – I Love You Inna (Clermont Music, 2019)

Oumar Konate, one of the most talented Malian musicians of his generation, has released his fifth album, I Love You Inn. Oumar has appeared on numerous albums in recent years, showcasing his talent as a formidable guitarist. You’ll still find plenty of admirable guitar on I Love You Inna, but there is also his vocalist and songwriter aspect, which is equally gifted.

I Love You Inna contains a mix of delightful love songs and dazzling, finely-crafted contemporray Malian music rooted in tradition.

The lineup includes Oumar Konate on guitars and lead vocals; Dramane Touré on bass; Makan Camara on drums and percussion; Fallou Mbaye on Wolof sabar; Assabe Dramé on kamele ngoni; Adama Sidibé on violin; Alhouseini Yattara on calabass; Moussa Yatara on calabass; Hama Sankaré on calabass; and Yoro Cissé on monochord.

Buy I Love You Inna

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Blazing a New Path for Mali’s Musical Landscape

Oumar Konate – Maya Maya (Clermont Music, 2016)

Following up on his 2014 release of Addoh, Malian guitarist and vocalist Oumar Konate has hit the musical streets this time with Maya Maya, out on the Clermont Music label.

Fashioning his own sound out of a mix of Mali’s rich musical tradition with western rock music, Mr. Konate erases the boundaries by way of fusing call-and-response vocals with fiery rock guitar lines to blaze a new path for Mali’s musical landscape.

Taking on electric and acoustic guitars and lead vocals Mr. Konate has teamed up with percussionist and drummer Makan Camara, bassist and backing vocalist Cheick Siriman Sissoko, slide and pedal steel guitarist Keven Maul and pianist Professor Louie to give voice to Mali’s up-and-coming musicians and his country’s precarious future in the face of growing violence, government corruption and an extremist fundamentalist movement.

Listeners will recognize the familiar strains of that rolling rhythmic Malian sound on the opening track “Alada” of Maya Maya, but Mr. Konate and fellow musicians conjure up a decidedly sharper sound, going for the sleeker, edgier take to that desert blues sound. Tracks like “La Ihala,” title track “Maya Maya” and “Waiheedji Taga” bristle with a seductive electricity fashioned out of searing guitar licks and hypnotic percussion that is thrilling.

Vocals with an aching poignancy mark such tracks as the piano threaded “Djama” and the lonely sounds conjured up on “Nedoum Bedefe.” “Hinchi Hinchi” is just downright ferociously rocking, as is the closing track “Hinchi Instrumental #1.”

It takes only a listen of Mr. Konate’s guitar licks and Mr. Camara’s drumming to see a bit of the road ahead for Mali’s musical landscape and it is kickass.

Buy Maya Maya in North America

Buy Maya Maya in Europe

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