Feb
6
2013

Parramatta Opening Party

Circolombia_0761_photo Annamone Taake

Parramatta, January 19, 2013  Sydney Festival splashed free music across several outdoor stages in its latest push to consummate a long, half-hearted flirtation with Parramatta.  The 40-strong Blue MUGS (Blue Mountains Ukulele Group) may be the only band around whose shirts are louder than their music. They performed in Riverside Theatre’s courtyard, strumming and singing […]

Feb
4
2013

Rokia Traore

Rokia Traore credit Jamie Williams 10

City Recital Hall, January 20, 2013  The poignancy was biting. Here was Rokia Traore devoting one of her Sydney Festival concerts to traditional Malian songs while, even as she sang, that tradition was under threat from Islamist extremists who believe music is the sound of Satan.  So more than just offering folkloric entertainment she was […]

Feb
2
2013

Rokia Traore: High Noon in Mali

Rokia Traore credit Jamie Williams 09

When music is banned in the north of your country, and those who persist in making it are threatened with having their fingers amputated, the stakes of being a musician have just been raised. But, as Rokia Traore knows, the stakes were always high in Mali, the epicentre of African music, and the well-spring of […]