Traveling from the U.S. west coast to West Africa, a Portland-based musicologist set out to record traditional guitar music. But once he arrived, he discovered a specific cell phone technology had become a major component of the Saharan music culture.
The singer from Mali was born with white skin. His albino condition helped shape his life and his musical career. He talks about that, and performs songs from his new album. Marco Werman's speaks with him.
We highlight two musical efforts to help refugees fleeing violence in northern Mali. First, a concert in New York this weekend, dubbed "Musicians for Mali." Then, a new CD called "Songs For Desert Refugees."
Marco Werman had the chance to speak with Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, who had landed from Mali's capital Bamako just three days earlier. Like most of her musical colleagues back home right now, music takes a backseat to the daily concerns of war.