"Maya Maya" - Oumar Konate

Oumar Konate
Oumar Konate - Maya Maya


In the title-track of his second album, Malian guitarist Oumar Konaté shouts out to his sister, warning her about gunfire and violence in the streets. Konaté's Maya Maya comes from a country in turmoil. Shifting between acoustic melancholy ("Wango Maben") and hard rock ("Hinchi Hinchi"), Konaté and his power trio are 21st-century West African millennials slammed by geopolitics, shocked by an uncertain future, and stymied by fundamentalism, corruption, and failed economies. Known to friends simply as "le Maestro," Konaté is a guitar genius. Sought after as bandleader and performer, Konaté has played from Bamako to Gao (most Friday nights he can be found in residency at the Club Songhoy in Bamako) and from Europe to New York to Los Angeles. Drummer Makan Camara is perhaps the best in West Africa. Bassist Cheick Siriman Sissoko is also a well-known singer. These three are a power trio on the level of Cream or Band of Gypsies. The songs tell a story of hope for peace and normalcy despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges.