World Music Institute in association with The Apollo presents Malian musician and GRAMMY Award-winner Oumou Sangaré for an incredible one-night-only performance at the world-famous Apollo in Harlem, New York.
One of West Africa’s most celebrated vocalists, Sangaré infuses her music with traditional African percussion, distinctive vocals, and progressive social criticism, creating a unique sound that has propelled her onto the international stage.
In her Apollo debut, Sangaré, “The Songbird of Wassoulou,” will perform music that spans traditional Wassoulou music to contemporary sounds coming out of Africa as well as songs from her recent critically acclaimed album, Timbuktu.
As an activist, businesswoman and global icon, Oumou Sangaré is considered an ambassador of Wassoulou; her music has been inspired by the music and traditional dances of the region. She writes and composes her songs, which often include social criticism, especially concerning women’s low status in society.
Drawing comparisons to legendary performers such as Grace Jones, Nina Simone, and Aretha Franklin, Sangaré has been praised by stars including Beyoncé and Harlem‘s Alicia Keys for her powerful voice and unwavering commitment to the betterment of women.
We’re thrilled to have Oumou, make her Apollo debut during our Next Movement season. Over the past eight decades the Apollo has amplified Black voices and used its platforms to create an intersection of art and activism, so having Oumou perform a range of music from Wassoulou music to contemporary sounds is exactly the kind of artistic conversation that we champion.” — Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, The Apollo
Here’s a video from “Wassulu Don,” someone said, “… the music felt as if she captured something familiar, sounds of home”:
The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and annual Africa Now! Festival.
The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop.
Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.apollotheater.org.
World Music Institute
Founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit, World Music Institute (WMI) has served as one of the leading presenters of world music and dance within the United States.
WMI is committed to presenting the best in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world with the goal of inspiring wonder for the world’s rich cultural traditions, promoting awareness and appreciation and encouraging cross-cultural dialog and exchange.
WMI presents at venues throughout the city and depends on both public and private funding to accomplish its mission.
The program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
The Apollo Theater Debut, Saturday, October 29, 2022, Doors: 7 PM | Show: 8 PM, 253 West 125th Street, Manhattan, Tickets: $30, $40, $45, $50, $75″