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Event Archive - An Evening with: Rokia Traoré

Sat. November 5th 2016 University Centre Farquhar Auditorium (All Ages)
8:00 - 10:00 doors at 7:30
Presented by: Victoria Jazz Society
Award winning singer, songwriter and guitarist, Rokia Traoré, was born in Mali as a member of the Bambara ethnic group. Her musical style is minimalistic and gentle, showing Western pop/rock influence blended with traditional African instrumentals on the balafon, n'goni, and kora.

The Malian singer’s family was both a blessing and a curse to her work in the music industry. As a member of Mali’s nobility, Traoré was discouraged from pursuing a career in music, but her father’s status as a diplomat influenced her unique musical style. Spending her childhood travelling across several continents, from Algeria to Saudi Arabia to France, she was exposed to an array of genres—classical, jazz, pop, and traditional Indian composition.

Traoré started performing publicly while studying at university in Bamko. Raising her profile, she won a Radio France Internationale prize of “African Discovery” in 1997. Shortly thereafter, she released her first album Mouneïssa, which received critical acclaim for its innovative combination of originality and traditional Malian musical tradition.

Released in early 2016 under the label Nonesuch, Traoré’s sixth album, Né So, meaning “home” in Bambara, perfectly reflects her personal musical flair, expressing both novelty and her traditional African roots. Her second collaboration with producer John Parrish, Né So continues to push boundaries, featuring contributions from John Paul Jones, Toni Morrison, and Devendra Banhart. With a career spanning almost two decades, Traoré’s music accolades include a prestigious BBC Radio 3 World Music Award, a Victoires de la Musique Award, and a win as “Best Artist” in the inaugural Songlines Music Awards in 2009.

Dedicated to humanitarian causes, Traoré is the UN Refugee Agency’s Regional Goodwill Ambassador for West and Central Africa, raising awareness for those who have been forcibly displaced.

A co-presentation of the Victoria Jazz Society and the University of Victoria Farquhar Auditorium.


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