Amadou & Mariam

Published on March 6th, 2023

Two of Africa’s most popular artists, the Malian husband and wife duo of Amadou Bagayoko and wife Mariam Doumbia, will launch their 2023 North American tour during the opening date of Afro Roots Fest, the award-winning nomadic world music festival now in its 25th year, on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Miami Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141).

The supporting act Cortadito, Miami’s answer to the Buena Vista Social Club and the Miami New Times’ “Best Latin Act” for 2019, will bring their traditional folk sound and invite a few special guests on stage, while acclaimed DJ Le Spam spins before and between acts. The host for the show is legendary broadcaster George Collinet, who voices the Peabody award-winning Afropop Worldwide syndicated world music radio program. Advance tickets are $41.50 and now available online HERE. All ages welcome.

“Being able to curate the Afro Roots Fest for 25 years is a great milestone for both our organization, and my journey as a musician and producer,” says Afro Roots Fest founder Jose Elias. “We’re so happy that Amadou and Mariam will be kicking off their US tour in South Florida. It’s been 15 years since our friends at the Rhythm Foundation presented them, and I believe this will be their first show at the Miami Beach Bandshell. So, we are in for a treat.”

For the past forty-odd years, Amadou & Mariam have managed to joyfully combine their love story with a musical career while becoming, discreetly but surely, the most famous ambassadors for Malian music, and African music, all around the world. They have collaborated with Damon Albarn of Blur, Manu Chao, Santigold, TV On The Radio, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The duo have played the world’s biggest festivals, from Coachella to Glastonbury, and opened for huge bands such as Coldplay and the Scissor Sisters. Their latest release is called La Confusion from 2017, for which they are just now getting to tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the very beginning, we have always wanted to mix our own music with great, talented musicians,” says Amadou. “We wanted to break barriers and open our ears to a new sound, to bring Malian music to a lot of people around the world in a form they would understand and enjoy. “We love what we do,” adds Mariam, “and we seek to make people happy with our music, help humanitarian causes and share positive messages about the good work being done by people in every corner of the world.”

Since its origins ten years ago, the evolution of Cortadito has led them to become one of the torch bearers of a pop culture phenomenon that is two centuries strong. A traditional folk and acoustic band that focuses on performing one of the earliest styles of Cuban country music known as Son (pronounced sOwn), their sound can best be described as reminiscent of the famed Buena Vista Social Club.

Through their many interpretations of traditional and original songs, this dynamic ensemble leads audiences through an audio experience referred to as “The Guajiro Triangle” by group co-founder and producer Elias, which alludes to the three cities of Miami, Havana, and Santiago, representing the group’s origins and revealing their musical influences.

Aymée Nuviola is a Cuban-born singer, songwriter, national recording artist and actor. Known for her witty improvisations and “rumbera” stage presence, Nuviola’s fans know her as “La Sonera del Mundo” (The Singer of the World). Last year, she was honored to be the first Latina invited to sing during a special Tropical music segment on the 64th Grammy Awards telecast.

In November, 2022, she won her second Latin Grammy, for Live at Marciac, her first duo album, recorded with jazz pianist and childhood friend Gonzalo Rubalcaba. As an actor, Nuviola is best known for playing the adult Celia Cruz in the Spanish soap opera “Celia,” which aired on Telemundo and Netflix and was viewed in 45 countries.

Founded by Brian Potts in 2017, Miamibloco turns Afro-Brazilian music and rhythms into the cultural glue that binds Miami’s unique diverse communities together. Their mission is to help people connect, learn, grow, and thrive for a more joyful and equitable Miami through performance and education. They host the seasonal Brazilian Social, as well as beginner and intermediate percussion workshops and classes throughout the Magic City. The organization’s performance group, Bateria Saideira, will join Cortadito on stage.

Director of Community Operations Suom Francis offers: “At Miamibloco everyone has an instrument and each one is as important as the next for collective sound. Experiencing these subtle empowering lessons consistently instills a sense of self-worth, and locates us inside our community in a way that is accessible, less charged, or intimidating.”

Miami based DJ Le Spam, founder of Spam Allstars, is also known for his eclectic vinyl collection. Born Andrew Yeomanson in Montreal, and raised in London and Bogota, he was exposed to a variety of music and cultures from an early age. He specializes in rare and hard to find music. His expansive collection includes Latin, funk, Miami-bass, Haitian, jazz, and more. He began digging for records while he toured the world as the guitar player for Capitol recording artist Nil Lara, and continued adding when he formed and toured extensively with his own band Spam Allstars.

Originating in 1998 at the now defunct Tobacco Road, the Afro Roots Fest has become one of the area’s longest-running music festivals. Named one of the “10 Best Music Festivals in Miami” by the Miami New Times, it was crowned the “Best Music Festival” in the 2019 “Best of Miami” issue. Past performers have included Sun Ra Arkestra, Alsarah, Fatoumata Diawara, Fulu Miziki, Salif Keita, VieuxFarka Toure, Toubab Krewe, and Roberto Torres, among many others. Since 2018, the event has become a nomadic affair that now includes separate concerts in markets such as Gainesville, Jupiter, Doral, Hollywood, Islamorada, and Key West.

Produced by Sean Barlow, Afropop Worldwide began its life 35 years ago as a weekly program on National Public Radio. Still the standard for both the curious and the connoisseur, it takes listeners on audio journeys to dynamic music capitals around the globe, and has introduced listeners to Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Cesaria Evora, Gilberto Gil, Baaba Maal, Kanda Bongo Man, and many, many others. Fans of the program are invited to a special meet-and-greet with Mr. Collinet at 6 p.m. on the day of show.

The event is generously supported by the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Miami Beach, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Rhythm Foundation, and Urban Resource.

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