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Mali Blues

CMOA Theater

$10/$5 members & students

In partnership with Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival

Mali is often regarded as the cradle of today’s Blues and Jazz—part of a musical tradition and trajectory brought by enslaved Africans to the American colonies. But what happens to a people and a culture when their language, their music is banned? Mali Blues is a vibrant concert film and documentary that follows four Malian musicians who use their music to stand up to religious extremism. When dance and secular music are prohibited, these Malian artists use their music to inspire tolerance and peace. (One of the artists, Fatoumata Diawara, will perform in Pittsburgh on April 13 as part of the Becoming Migrant series.)

After the film, enjoy a Q&A with the director, Lutz Gregor, known for his experimental documentaries, and Colter Harper, PhD, a musician and ethnomusicologist, who will demonstrate and explain some traditional West African instrumentation.


“a gorgeous paean to the liberating effects of music”