The cover of Rokia Traore’s latest album shows the singer fashionably attired, complete with a fedora-style hat, sitting on an amplifier with bare feet. Her guitar is propped up against a wall and she’s staring off into the distance. Her CD ‘Beautiful Africa’ is indeed, beautiful.
Tracks on a new live album of music recorded at the Festival au Desert include performances by Canadian-Indian singer Kiran Ahluwalia (backed by desert blues band Tinariwen), Afropop legend Habib Koite, Timbutku singer Khaira Arby and Touareg rock group Tartit.
The West African nation of Mali has seen instability and violence since March of 2012 when a military coup overthrew the government of President Amadou Toumani Touré. Since then, the violence has escalated as Islamic extremists have joined the fighting and further divided the country into North and South.
This month France announced their intervention due to the rapid escalation of violence over the last few months, and the United States is now helping with operational support.