Salif Keita at City Winery DC on Aug 24 part of 2022 U.S. Summer Tour (Late Show)

Salif Keita at City Winery DC on Aug 24 part of 2022 U.S. Summer Tour (Late Show)

Salif Keïta is a Malian singer-songwriter, referred to as the “Golden Voice of Africa”. He is a member of the Keita royal family of Mali.

Salif Keita Family

Due to political unrest, Keita and his band-mates fled Mali in the mid-1970s. They settled in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The band (now named Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux) steadily grew in popularity in the ensuing years.


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Salif Keita Backstory

Their 1978 album, Mandjou, became an overnight success in West Africa.

In 2001, Keita’s song “Tomorrow” was featured in the Will Smith film, Ali.

La Différence won Keita one of the biggest musical awards of his career: the Best World Music 2010 at the Victoires de la musique.

In 2013, after what he described as “threats” from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, he cancelled a performance in Israel.

He later published a letter on his Facebook page, stating that he decided to cancel the event because he was scared of “being harmed personally or professionally”, but clarified that he still “love[d] Israel”, slamming BDS as an “extremist group” who used “scare tactics and bullying”.

Salif Keïta’s Future

In November 2018 he announced his retirement from recording at a concert in Fana, Mali. The album Un Autre Blanc, which was released at the concert, would be his last.


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