Press room

Barbican announces Amadou & Mariam and the Blind Boys of Alabama for 13 July 2019

Amadou & Mariam in front of a blue sky. They are both wearing gold clothing and sunglasses.

From Bamako to Birmingham –
Amadou & Mariam and the Blind Boys of Alabama
Sat 13 Jul 2019, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £20 – 35 plus booking fee

Malian husband and wife Afro-pop superstar duo Amadou & Mariam and multi Grammy Award-winning soulful gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama have teamed up to combine contemporary African sounds and African-American roots music, touring together this summer and stopping at the Barbican on 13 July 2019. This is a long-awaited return to the Barbican from these artists, the Blind Boys last performed at the Centre as part of the London Jazz Festival in 2009 and Amadou & Mariam’s Eclipse event at York Hall – a concert staged entirely in the dark – formed part of the Barbican’s contemporary music programme in 2011.

Award-winning the Blind Boys of Alabama’s career is spanning over 70 years and they are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. The Blind Boys are known for crossing musical boundaries with their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favourites to contemporary spiritual material by songwriters such as Eric Clapton, Prince and Tom Waits. They have appeared on recordings with many artists, including Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Patty Griffin and Taj Mahal.

One of the most famous ambassadors for Malian music, Amadou & Mariam have managed to joyfully combine their love story with a musical career for the past forty-odd years. They have collaborated with many different people and worked with producers like Damon Albarn or Manu Chao and have invited artists such Santigold, TV On The Radio, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to play on their songs and have had their tracks remixed by Yuksek, Vitalic, Henrik Schwarz, Miike Snow and Ashley Beedle. Amadou & Mariam have played the world’s biggest festivals, from Coachella to Glastonbury, and opened for bands such as Coldplay and the Scissor Sisters. By enriching their Afro-pop with new elements, the duo has brought African music to the charts and to the dance floor.

Produced by the Barbican