Music News

Habib Koité

With Colorado's just-passed statewide smoking ban prompting threats of legal challenges, Habib Koité -- headliner of Putumayo's Acoustic Africa tour -- may inadvertently add fuel to the debate with his signature song "Cigarette a Bana (No More Cigarette)." Of course, even without the ban, smoking at a West African music concert would be a difficult endeavor, as the hypnotic polyrhythmic beats, talking drum chatter, loping call-and-response and infectious guitar grooves would make it impossible to stop moving long enough to fire up. With an ever-present smile and unbridled energy, Koité carries the torch as a young disciple of Malian griot storytelling and musical tradition, yet adds a Western pop sensibility (like occasional Jimi Hendrix-esque guitar riffs) that give his work a greater world reach. Whether his songs are about cows or the destructiveness of cigarettes, Koité's material speaks to everyone. Also on the bill are South African guitarist/singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela and Dobet Gnahoré, whose music is steeped in the traditions of the Bété people in her native Ivory Coast.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Glenn BurnSilver
Contact: Glenn BurnSilver