Clermont Music presents Malian musician Mamadou Kelly and his band Groupe Kelly who combine traditional delta blues and contemporary West African sound. This African artist quickly charms audiences with smooth vocals and effortless guitar playing.
2018 CONCERT REVIEWS
<<One of the best and most intimate shows I’ve ever experienced>>
Benjamin Greene about the concert at Ashkenaz Music and Dance, Berkeley CA, 26 October18
<< they were off the hoooook!!!>> Tom Nguyen, EnClave.LA after the Halloween show at DubClub – Echoplex, Los Angeles CA, 31 October 18
<<Thanks for the great show! Hope we can have you back in Boston soon!>>
WorldMusic/CRASHarts about the City Winery Boston concert, 4 November 18
<<The band went straight into a guitar melody, the percussionist joined in and the infectious rhythms of West Africa filled the room. It was hard for audience members to not tap their feet or bob their heads as the show continued – several even got up to dance near the stage as Mamadou Kelly’s bright vibrant energy extended to the crowd>> Jenny Porter Tilly, Herald Times, Bloomington IN, about the 25th Lotus Festival opening concert at Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 26 September 18
"Malian musical royalty" - Songlines #127 May 2017
"At one level this is simple, quite lovely, rural-sounding music, but it is also layered and its complexity is only thinly disguised." - fRoots Magazine #407, May 2017
"Politiki is a remarkable combination of West African and American blues genres featuring outstanding guitar work." World Music Central, 10 April 2017
"Kelly transforms desert blues with modern sophistication" - Earth Beat Amsterdam, 11 April 2017
"a storied cast of supporting musicians like Susie Ibarra, steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar, bassist Jake Silver, and guitarist Dan Littleton. Listen to the acoustic-leaning title track from Mamadou Kelly." - New Sounds #3967, WNYC 31 March 2017
"Incredibly accomplished guitarist ... a fine singer... prorfoundly moving music" Mark Sinnock, Songlines Magazine #112
"There is a warm, unaffected spontaneity to the proceedings, with Kelly's voice... sounding out over a propulsive and nicely earthy mess of guitar, njarka and djourkel underpinned by bass and calabash.”
Mark Hudson, Songlines Magazine
“Mamadou Kelly presents superb acoustic interplay, infectious Malian rhythms and alluring songs.”
World Music Central
“the real roots of American blues and jazz”
George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly
“Soulful grooves, brilliant playing and arranging, and a vibe that just won’t let go”
Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide
MAMADOU KELLY, born in 1969 near Timbuktu Northern Mali, began working on local farms as a young teenager but was drawn to music. By age 15 Kelly had ventured to Niafunké to learn from the famed Ali Farka Touré. In 1986 he had begun to perform with Touré and at the age of 18 had made his first trip outside of Mali to perform.
In 2003 Kelly accompanied Ali Farka Toure to the Folk Live Festival in Washington DC. He performed in 2005 and 2006 at the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu and in 2008 at the Festival sur le Niger in Segou Mali. In 2010 Kelly performed with Afel Bocoum at the Afrika Festival in Hertme, Netherlands and in 2011 they crisscrossed the USA and Canada as part of the Acoustic Africa Tour. Kelly performed in France as part of Africa Express 2012. In 2013 following the political crisis in Mali, Kelly participated in the USA and Europe Caravan for Peace Tours.
Kelly recorded his first album, "Adibar" in Bamako in 2013. He followed with a second, “Djamila” recorded in New York in 2015. That album was named a Top of the World by the British magazine, Songlines. During Kelly’s 2016 North American tour he recorded his third album “Politiki” joined on that project by five-time Grammy Award winner Cindy Cashdollar, avant-garde percussionist Susie Ibarra, and bass player Jacob Silver. Kelly is presently working on his fourth album in New York and Bamako.
Mamadou Kelly continues to live with his family in Mali and is a mentor to many young Malian musicians.