Date(s) - 05/30/2014 - 05/31/2014
11:00 pm - 2:00 am
A rising young star from Gao, Mali, Oumar Konate is blazing the new wave of Malian music onto the contemporary world music stage.
Oumar Konaté touched the spirit of his classmates with his passion for music and song while still in primary school in his hometown of Gao, Mali. On the strength of his talent with an old bucket, helmet, and drum, Konaté performed nightly outside the family’s front door conducting his first band.
While in high school, he accompanied the Orchestra of Gao on their national tour. There, the Malian artist, Nana Coulé, introduced him to the guitar. Oumar Konaté went on to enroll at the prestigious National Institute of Arts in Bamako. There he recorded his first album, “Lahidou” (The Oath). That recording brought him to the attention of many well-known African artists. Konaté has accompanied several of those Malian artists: Vieux Farka Toure, Kounkako Sata, Roberto Magic, Alpha Diakité, Sidi Touré, Khaira Arby, Leila Gobi.
He is a featured player on many recordings including Sidi Toure’s hailed 2011 album “Koima,” and Leila Gobi’s 2010 “Menaka” for which he also arranged. In 2008 Oumar Konaté performed at the National Biennale in Kayes, Mali as guitarist and arranger for the National Institute’s orchestra. In 2009, he represented Mali at the UNESCO festival in Gambia. That same year, Konaté received his Diploma from the Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres, Oumar Konaté was invited to perform at the Mali Voices Festival in Sweden.
In 2011, Mr. Konaté was asked by band leader Boncana Maiga to be guitarist and arranger for “Tounkagouna,” a monthly musical variety program broadcast on several television networks : CFI, ORTM, TV5, etc. In January 2012, Mr Konaté appeared at the Festival au Desert – Essakane in Timbuktu, Mali. In that same year he toured throughout the US and Canada with Khaira Arby and her band. Konaté then followed up with a solo US tour in the summer of 2012 playing at NY’s Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival among other festivals and received rave receptions. In November 2013 Oumar toured Europe as part of Vieux Farka Toure’s band. Oumar Konaté currently lives in Bamako, Mali with his family, his wife and newborn son. His most recent album, Ado, is on the Clermont Music label.