Kady Diarra


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One of Burkina Faso's leading griottes, Kady Diarra has the kind of powerful voice you'd expect from someone who sings history and praise songs. Yes, she can belt them out, but with a huge degree of taste and passion on this set of traditional material that really comes alive in her hands. It's an all-acoustic affair, with Diarra backed by a trio where balofon (a kind of xylophone) dominates the instrumental proceedings. But that doesn't mean there's no electricity in the air; there's plenty of it, and Diarra uses it to hammer home her messages of Africa, including more equal status for its womenfolk. Powerful, even compelling, this is a record with plenty of heart -- and also soul.

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