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October 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
From the heart of Mali’s Niger Delta, in his teenage years Kelly ventured to Niafunke seeking to study music with the legendary master, Ali Farka Toure. Over the past 30 years he has played beside Ali Farka Toure, accompanied Afel Bocoum as a key member of the band, Alkibar and performed with many great musicians. With an encyclopedic knowledge of Mali’s music, Kelly represents the link from great traditions to the new sophistication of Mali. Heading his own band for the past over 6 years, Kelly’s charm belies a determined professional. His song style is deceptively simple and yet subtly layered with meaning. A rich, historical awareness supports his composition and delivery, gently prodding his audiences with parables and life’s lessons learned.
Check out what critics have said about his recent recordings and concerts.
- “At one level this is simple, quite lovely, rural-sounding music, but it is also layered and its complexity is only thinly disguised.” fROOTS #407
- “classy, at times gently hypnotic” Robin Denselow – Songlines #127
- “you’re released, flying without wings, infused with a sense of having momentarily left the planet” Dennis Rozanski, Blues Rag 2017
- “hypnotic desert blues” Bastiaan Springer, Lust for Life 2017
- “Profoundly moving music” Martin Sinnock, SONGLINES #112
- “A warm unaffected spontaneity” Mark Hudson, SONGLINES March 2014
- “Guitar lines roll so effortlessly and virtuosically that one nearly becomes immune to its brilliant elegance.” Ian Nagoski, WIRE 2014
- “The real roots of American blues and jazz” George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly