Montreal, Sunday, July 7, 2013 — Mali’s magical couple Amadou and Mariam will be honoured tomorrow by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal with the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award. The prize will be presented to them by Laurent Saulnier, vice-president of programming and production of the Festival, during a press conference to be held today at 4 p.m. in the Salle Stevie Wonder of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan (305, Ste. Catherine St. West, 2nd floor).
Amadou and Mariam are the 10th recipient of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, created for the Festival’s 25th anniversary to honour artists distinguished in the field of world music whose influence on the evolution of jazz and cultural crossover is widely recognized.
Since their first concert as a couple in 1977 at Bobo Dioulasso Stadium, Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia have offered the music world a vibrant and magical presence and sound, unleashing a refreshing joie de vivre over funky rhythms. Their career was propelled by the resounding success of Dimanche à Bamako, produced by Manu Chao, which sold over 300,000 copies and won a Victoire de la Musique and two BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music; they’ve been on an unending rise ever since. It is a success they turn to noble ends, advocating the values of solidarity and democracy, especially through Africa mon Afrique, a project of rotating concerts in the Parisian suburbs in collaboration with the Programme Alimentaire Mondial. Enriched by a career’s worth of musical collaborations, their music is blues from both sides of the Atlantic, on a foundation of rock with disco or Latin inflections, soaring to the sound of Amadou’s guitar as well as such traditional instruments as kora, balafon, flute, ancient stringed instruments, djembe and calabash. Their irresistible musical chemistry challenges the boundaries of world music and is in full swing on their 7th and latest album, Folila (“make music” in bambara), also winner of a Victoire for World Music Album, which they’re certain to treat us to during the Rio Tinto Alcan Special Closing Event: Amadou and Mariam, July 7, 9:30 p.m., TD Stage, Place des Festivals (Les Performances TD series), TD Grand Closing Event, with special guest Fatoumata Diawara.
As winner of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Amadou and Mariam follow in the footsteps of Emir Kusturica (2012), Youssou N’Dour (2011), Richard Bona (2010), Toots & The Maytals (2009), Gilberto Gill (2008), Angélique Kidjo (2007), Salif Keita (2006), Khaled (2005) and Ibrahim Ferrer (2004).
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