When: Sat., Oct. 20, 9 p.m. 2018
The Malian town of Niafunké is a musical hotbed. Famed musicians Ali Farka Touré and Afel Bocoum are from there, as is their protégé Mamadou Kelly. Touré pioneered the Malian blues movement, a hybrid genre of historical West African sounds and rhythms and American blues. Kelly carries on the tradition — though it hasn’t always been easy or safe to do so. In 2012, he was forced to flee his home region after an uprising of Islamic extremists outlawed all secular music and persecuted those who played it. Kelly performs on Saturday, October 20, at Zenbarn in Waterbury.