Filed Under (Ethnomusicology, General, Malian culture) by Rob on 09-05-2010

Bamako has to be one of the most musical cities in Africa!

There’s always something musical going on and numerous venues scattered around the city, where you can hear immensely gifted musicians playing on a regular basis! Furthermore, folk are generally happy if you sit down and jam along with them (although it probably helps if you can actually play!)

So, here I am having ‘fun’ and being musical outside the French Cultural Centre in Bamako a while back, with Monsieur Coulibably and Monsieur Traoré (at least, I think those were their names!)

If you want to find some live music, then the French Cultural Centre is a good place to start. Other venues include the ‘Blonba’ in Faladie (where I saw Toumani Diabaté), ‘Le Diplomate’ on the Route de Coulikoro and the Palais de la Culture in Badalabougou Ouest (near the old bridge).

I was at a FREE concert at the CCF the other night and various folk ran up on stage and began dancing in front of the artists performing! This is very common in W Africa and not particularly frowned-upon like is would be in the West. Lots of fun too (although I’ve never plucked up the courage to do it yet…)

Happy music-making!

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