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Malian musicians in London celebrate their musical heritage

Monday, January 28, 2013 - 01:31

A special concert was held over the weekend in London to celebrate the spirit of Malian culture while the country is in turmoil. Rollo Ross reports

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A special concert was held over the weekend in London to celebrate the spirit of Malian culture while the country is in turmoil. Mali is renowned for its rich musical heritage, but that is being impaired by the current conflict between French and African forces and Islamist rebels. Grammy nominated Bassekou Kouyate - Mali's most famous musician - was just one of the artists who played over the weekend. "If there are concerts they could put bombs in the concert halls. So for three months music and football and everything has stopped. So everything has stopped for the moment for the security of the Malian people." The Islamists who took over the north of the country last year have banned music other than Koranic verses, and this has created further problems for musicians like Sidi Toure from Gao. "The instruments belonging to the orchestra of Gao were burned. There are no more instruments, there is no orchestra, there is nothing. It was the Islamists. They say that music isn't good. They don't want music - only Islamists can set fire to instruments." The sell-out concert which took place on Saturday and featured three of the most popular acts in Mali, went down a storm with the 2,000 strong audience.

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Malian musicians in London celebrate their musical heritage

Monday, January 28, 2013 - 01:31