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Music singer, songwriter and guitarist Rokia Traore picture (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
Born: January 24, 1974 Mali.
Rokia Traore is an award-winning Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist. Traore was born in Mali as a member of the Bambara ethnic group. As her father was a diplomat, she travelled widely in her youth travelling to Algeria, Saudi Arabia, France and Belgium. As a result of this travel, she was exposed to a wide variety of influences.
The Bamana also had a tradition of griot performing at weddings although members of the nobility such as Traore are discouraged from performing as musicians. Traore attended lycee in Mali when her father was stationed in Brussels and started performing publicly. In 1997, she linked with Mali musician Ali Farka Toure which raised her profile. She won an Radio France Internationale prize as African discovery of 1997.
Her first album Mouneissa (Label Bleu) from 1998 was acclaimed for its fresh treatment and unqualifiable combinations of several Malian music traditions such as her use of the ngoni and the balafon. It sold over 40,000 copies in Europe.
In 2000, her second album Wanita was released. Traore wrote and arranged the whole album. The album was widely acclaimed with the New York Times nominating it as one of their albums of the year.
In 2003 her album Bowmboi was released winning the prestigious BBC 3 World Music Award. As of 2005, she has been nominated three times for this award. She played at WOMAD in 2004 and completed her first tour of North America in the same year.
In 2005 she performed at the "Africa Live" festival, held in Dakar (Senegal) on 12 and 13 March 2005, where, besides Rokia Traore, several great names of African music, like Malians Ali Farka Toure, Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, Tinariwen, Tiken Jah Fakoly of Cote d'Ivoire, Cameronian Manu Dibango, Algerian Khaled, Senegalese Didier Awadi, Baaba Maal and Youssou N'Dour, and the French rapper Joey Starr were present. These concerts were dedicated to the fight against malaria in Africa, responsible for the death of a child every 30 seconds on the African continent.
In 2005 she also performed at the Youssou N'dour and Friends concert in Geneva, which was also a supporting gala against malaria, with Peter Gabriel, Amadou and Mariam, Gilberto Gil, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Neneh Cherry.
In December 2006 Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope festival, which is part of the City of Vienna's celebrations commemorating Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birthday 250 years ago, will see the world premiere of Wati, a performance by Rokia Traore and the Klangforum Wien.