Arts, Culture & Media

A Song for Peace Born Amid Struggle in Mali

The West African nation of Mali has experienced violence recently, with a rebellion in the north and a military coup in the south. Given all that, you can understand why musicians there are singing out against war. Marco Werman tells us about a new song called "The World for Peace." The song was recorded by JeConte and the Mali All Stars and a host of other well-known Malian musicians including Khaira Arby and Vieux Farka Toure.

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JeConte is in fact Joe Conte, an American, from Northern California. A few years ago, he discovered the seductive sounds of Mali's distinctive blues and fell in love with the music. Since then, JeConte has travelled to Mali, and its capital Bamako, several times to dig in deeper to the music. In fact, he and his band, the Mali All-Stars, were there in March to make a new album. That's when the military coup went down in Bamako.

In the north, rebels continued their offensive. And Mali was thrown into uncertainty. JeConte was inspired to work with Malian musicians to write a song for peace.

Their plea is simple: We want, they sing, for "all our ancestors to come together for peace…for a better World…for hope in Mali."

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    Mali Blues

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    Credit: Manya Gupta

    Festival in the Desert. (Photo: Joe Conte/themaliblues.com)

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