October 2016


Press Contacts:

Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450


“Traoré’s a singer-songwriter in the modern sense who embraces but also

stretches centuries-old traditions.” — Chicago Tribune


World Music Institute continues its Desert Blues concert series with multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré One of the most gifted female singer/songwriters to come out of Mali


From WMI Artistic Director Par Neiburger:

“On the heels of Vieux Farka Touré’s phenomenal show which opened World Music Institute’s Desert Blues series, we are thrilled to present another outstanding Desert Blues artist on October 30: Rokia Traoré, in the first concert date for her United States tour in support of her recent album Né So. Released on the Nonesuch label, this record is a deep exploration of her incredibly moving music and a passionate homage to her homeland, Mali. Rokia continues the strong modern legacy of female singer-songwriters from Mali such as Oumou Sangare and Fatomatou Diawara, and takes the desert blues and folk traditions of her homeland to new realms. Rokia’s style is distinct, and her vocals and musicianship make her a singular artist who appeals to even those not familiar with or previously exposed to African music.”


Multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré is quite possibly one of the most talented and inventive female singer/songwriters to ever come out of Mali, one of Africa’s most musically rich countries. Her incredible musicianship and persuasive vocal skills allow her to effortlessly blend the sounds of Mali with desert blues, folk, and other traditions. Rokia is remarkable not just for the range of her powerful and emotional voice but also for her stunning live performances. On her 2016 release, Né So, Rokia turns to friends John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), and Devendra Banhart to help her express her deep sadness at the state of turmoil in her native Mali. Lamenting her homeland’s loss of life, culture, and traditions, Rokia draws audiences in with a striking translation from emotion to song, including transcriptions of some of Toni Morrison’s prolific writings.


Date: Sunday, October 30, 2016,

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Venue: Symphony Space

Address: 2537 Broadway

Tickets: $35 / $45 / $55

Tickets & Information: 212-279-4200






December 2, 2016, Met Museum

Extremely rare appearance by Mali’s elusive superstar, one of the most pivotal figures in the African desert blues tradition



February 24, 2017, (Le) Poisson Rouge

This exceptional singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist from Mauritania is a griot from a celebrated musical family


Additional concerts in WMI’s Desert Blues Series will be announced in January 2017.




“A decidedly edgier, more forward-looking new direction.”



Founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit, World Music Institute (WMI) has served as the leading presenter of world music and dance within the United States.

WMI is committed to presenting the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world with the goal of inspiring wonder for world cultures through music and dance. WMI aims to enrich the lives of people living in New York by promoting awareness of other cultures and their traditions. WMI collaborates with community organizations and academic institutions in fostering greater understanding and appreciation of the world’s cultural traditions and presents at venues throughout the city.

Under new leadership since 2015, its 30th anniversary season, World Music Institute has introduced an ambitious expansion of concert offerings that include contemporary, experimental and avant-garde presentations, as well as the traditional music that WMI has long been known and admired for. In addition, the institution is thrilled to have launched new partnerships with BAM, 92nd Street Y, SummerStage, Merkin Concert Hall, National Sawdust, Storm King Art Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Littlefield and Drom—while continuing partnerships with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Town Hall, Symphony Space, French Institute Alliance Française, and Apollo Theater (the annual Africa Now festival).

WMI has presented more than 1,500 concerts and events featuring artists from more than 100 countries across all continents. Through powerful programming, WMI is creating a movement that promotes awareness and engagement of other cultures, helping to encourage deeper understanding of communities around the globe.


“A widely copied and influential force in New York cultural circles.”



Event: Rokia Traore

Date: Sunday, October 30, 2016,

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Venue: Symphony Space

Address: 2537 Broadway

Tickets: $35 / $45 / $55

Tickets & Information: 212-279-4200

For more WMI events and the complete fall/winter season schedule, please visit


Follow WMI


Twitter: @WMInyc

Instagram: @worldmusicinstitute


For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,

please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or


#WMI #WorldMusicInstitute #StreetsofNewYork411


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