Mariam, from the duet Amadou and Mariam, sings before a Washington concert
Mariam, from the duet Amadou and Mariam, sings before a Washington concert

The Malian Afro-blues duo Amadou and Mariam brought their seventh studio recording to stages across the U.S., as they toured North America.

The husband and wife team said their ability to team up with musicians and singers from all over the globe was the highlight of their latest release, Folila, a word which means to make music in the Malian language of Bambara.

“Our greatest joy was that there were people who came to sing with us, that was the source of our greatest moments of pleasure,” said Amadou.  “Also, we came to New York and recorded and went to Bamako and that was great, really great.”

Among the most popular songs Oh, Amadou featured French singer Bertrand Cantat, who also sang for a number of songs on Folila.  Both Amadou and Mariam said their collaborations often flow as the album unfolds.

“We don’t plan them,” said Mariam.  “That comes with how we feel,” added Amadou. They said musicians have a social role to play off stage, especially in Mali at the moment, where a coup and subsequent rebellion in the north led to insecurity in the West African country.

“The musicians play a big role because they sing so that people can stop fighting,” said Amadou.  Mariam added, “It tells people to work hand in hand with each other for peace.”
Amadou and Mariam are performing in Los Angeles, California before wrapping up their North American tour and heading to Europe.        

Mali duo Amadou and Mariam tour the US