Malian singer Oumou Sangare promotes her new album, Seya, with a free concert this Thursday in the Pritzker Pavilion at 8 PM. Reader critic Peter Margasak notes:

“. . . despite dashes of Western pop flavor—electric bass and guitar, Hammond organ, plush horn and string sections—the songs retain a deep connection to Malian music in both their core instrumentation and their basic structures. Sangare is from Bamako, at the edge of the Wassoulou region of Mali, where the dominant form of music evolved from traditional hunter’s songs; the style has long been dominated by women, a rarity in Africa, and the content of its lyrics has changed to address contemporary social problems. . . . The seven-piece band she brings here is led by ‘Benogo’ Brehima Diakite, a virtuoso on the kamele n’goni (literally ‘lute-harp for young people’) who’s been Sangare’s musical foil for nearly 20 years.”