Fatoumata Diawara and Roberto Fonseca

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Feb 26

Afro-Caribbean dream team

Two musical worlds collide with Cuba’s Roberto Fonseca and Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara pairing to create music for the soul through their beautiful Afro-Caribbean harmonies.

Born into a musical family – his father a drum player, his mother a professional singer – swing and blues pianist Fonseca began his career with a blaze. After graduating from Havana’s prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte with a master’s degree in composition, he released his first studio album, En El Comienzo, in 1999 and won the award for Cuba’s Best Jazz Album at that year’s Cubadisco festival. Having released a total of eight studio albums and toured with Havana’s renowned Buena Vista Social Club, his international acclaim was confirmed when his album, Yo, was Grammy-nominated for 2014’s Best Latin Jazz Album. That same year, Fonseca captured Hongkongers’ hearts in a spellbinding performance at the Hong Kong Arts Festival – a sold-out concert that ended in a minutes-long standing ovation. 

Working with past and present greats like Omara Portuondo and Ibrahim Ferrer, Fonseca has since found his musical counterpart in singer-songwriter Diawara. Born in Côte d’Ivoire to Malian parents, Diawara moved to France as a teenager and became a celebrated actress in films such as La Genèse and Sia, le Rêve du Python. After securing the lead role in the musical production Kirikou et Karaba, Diawara quickly garnered attention for the husky vocals she remains famous for. This resulted in her working with international artists and touring worldwide. In 2013, one of her most celebrated years, she sang with The Roots for the Clinton Global Initiative in New York and took Glastonbury by storm with an astounding vocal performance.

Performing at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on February 26, this dynamic duo are set to intoxicate Hong Kong with a mix of funky melodies and alternatively husky yet honey-smooth vocals. Combining Diawara’s sensuous singing with Fonseca’s jazz genius, this transatlantic musical union promises stomping riffs and emotive songs that we can’t wait to hear. Kaitlin McPhee

Fatoumata Diawara and Roberto Fonseca Fri Feb 26, 8pm. Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tickets: $240-$580; urbtix.hk.


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