Amadou & Mariam (Mali)
As Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia were carefully led onto the stage, full realisation of just what these two magical performers have overcome to achieve what they have hits you square in the face. This husband and wife team, who met at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind, are a dynamic singing/songwriting pair who clearly don't consider blindness to be a stumbling block to their shared love of music and performing.
Their set of Afro blues was loud, upbeat and incredibly fun, with a distinctive traditional Mali feel overlaid with jazz, rock and Cuban rhythms. Amadou was impressive on guitar, and the two were joined onstage by gorgeous and energetic vocal backup and a dynamic band who kept the tempo high.
Amadou & Maria's breakthrough album Welcome To Mali is available now.
Photography by Nicole Russo