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World News

Vusi Mahlasela

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'Acoustic Africa' Tour in the Works
Published January 6, 2006

International Music Network, in association with Putumayo World Music, present an exhilarating musical journey featuring three of the best live performers from the African continent.

The Acoustic Africa tour includes Habib Koité, the Malian superstar whose exciting concerts have endeared him to audiences worldwide, Vusi Mahlasela, a powerful singer-songwriter who sings of struggle and hope in the townships of South Africa, and newcomer Dobet Gnahore, a stunning performer from the Ivory Coast who has thrilled crowds across Africa and Europe.

This exceptional Acoustic Africa tour reflects the careful selection of universally appealing music that has made Putumayo one of the world’s most successful record labels. The tour will coincide with the release of a new Acoustic Africa CD featuring these and other artists as well as a new Putumayo CD by Habib Koité.

Habib Koité and Bamada
One of Africa's most exciting performers, Habib Koité plays music that reflects the diverse musical traditions of his Malian homeland. Born in 1958 in Khassonké, near the border of Senegal, he developed his unique guitar style accompanying his griot mother. Accompanied by his band Bamada, Koité has released a number of successful and critically acclaimed albums, including Ma Ya and Baro on Putumayo. 

Koité has appeared on the The Late Show with David Letterman, in major magazines such as People and Rolling Stone, and National Public Radio's All Things Considered. In 2002, Koité recorded a duet with Bonnie Raitt on her album Silver Lining. Over the past 10 years, Habib and his band have performed over 600 concerts for adoring audiences in far-flung locations such as Japan, Australia, Brazil and Kazakhstan. With their engaging stage presence and expert musicianship, Habib Koité and Bamada always put on a show to remember.


Vusi Mahlasela
Born in a Pretoria, South Africa, Vusi Mahlasela spent his childhood in the township of Mamelodi, where he grew up listening to the elderly men of his community singing traditional African songs. After teaching himself to play the guitar, he earned notice as a gifted singer and songwriter. Mahlasela's powerful lyrics and beautiful melodies have made him a leading figure in contemporary South African music. Vusi is featured in Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, the celebrated film about the importance of music and song in South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle. Among his most ardent supporters is Dave Matthews, who invited Vusi to contribute guest vocals on the title track of the Dave Matthews Band’s multi-platinum album “Everyday”. Matthews also signed Vusi to his ATO Records label and released his album The Voice in 2003.


Dobet Gnahoré
A young singer from the Ivory Coast, Dobet Gnahoré has ignited stages in Africa and Europe with her vibrant performances. As a child, Dobet was trained in the music and dance traditions of the Bété people by her father, Boni Gnahoré, a well known performer in West Africa. Dobet sings in various African languages and her music reflects a variety of influences including Mandingo music, Congolese rumba, ziglibiti from the Ivory Coast and Cameroonian bikutsi. The Acoustic Africa tour marks Dobet’s US debut.



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