I met with Alou Sangaré yesterday, we had a chat at a bar close to where I’m staying, by the route de Koulikoro. He’s a native of Koutiala, east of Bamako near the Burkinabé border. He is the son of Madou Guitare, an influential member of several 70s Malian orchestras. Alou has been recording music for 12 years, fusing traditional melodies with modernized arrangements, appealing to young Malians while carrying on his father’s legacy.

Today I heard him playing live here in Bamako at a place called the Parc des Princes. The show was great, full of energy, Alou had everyone dancing! Quite a departure from the stereotypical Malian music concert in Europe or the US, where for the most part people sit down the entire time!