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Thursday, July 18, 2013

BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech Preview:
Fatoumata Diawara

By Robert Wood

Photo: Fatoumata Diawara


The BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech—BAM's free summertime showcase of heavy hitters from R&B, reggae, funk, and other genres—runs this year through August 8, with concerts happening (almost) every Thursday at noon. That means lunchtime for most, so for the full MetroTech experience, we suggest bringing takeout from a nearby restaurant and making an afternoon (or a long lunch break) out of it. Check back every week for these previews, which will also suggest appropriate eats to enjoy along with the music, and pigeons, in Downtown Brooklyn.



Fatoumata Diawara
Thu, Jul 18 at 12pm
MetroTech Commons | map
Free

In a nutshell:
Malian singer and guitarist described by The Telegraph as “the most beguiling talent to hit the world music scene in some time.”

Genres:
Jazz, pop, and funk filtered through the Malian sound

What to Know:
Diawara started out as an actress, performing as Antigone for audiences in Paris and touring with famed French theater company Royale de Luxe. But all of that quickly changed after a director heard her singing in her dressing room between performances. Drummer Toni Allen (Fela Kuti), kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate, and John Paul Jones all play on Diawara’s debut album, which also betrays references to southwest Mali’s Wassoulou cultural region, known for its strong female singers and status as a possible origin of American blues.

You might like them if you like:
Oumou Sangaré, Angelique Kidjo

Appropriateness for getting down / getting it on:
90% / 10%

What to do about lunch: 
Malians speak French, and Diawara herself began her career in the French theater, so go with La Défense on the southeast side of MetroTech Commons. Although it's named after the Parisian business district, the decor is more industrial chic—handsome from end to end. Quiche and patisserie can be enjoyed on tables made from refurbished bowling alley and barn wood, or outside with the music, which is what we recommend. 

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