Feature story

UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Toumani Diabaté wins GRAMMY Award

16 February 2011

UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Toumani Diabaté Credit: Malik Sidibé

UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Toumani Diabaté received a GRAMMY award for best traditional world music album for his joint album with Ali Farka Toure's entitled “Ali and Toumani”.

The album is a recording of duets from two of Africa’s most distinguished musicians, the late guitarist Ali Farka Touré and kora player Toumani Diabaté. The duo’s first album together, also won a GRAMMY following its 2005 release.

At the 53rd GRAMMY Award ceremony, which took place in Los Angeles on 13 February, Vieux Farka Toure accepted the Award on behalf of his late father, Ali Farka Toure, and Toumani Diabaté.

Toumani was appointed UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador on 12 December 2008. He uses music as a tool to reach out to people with important messages on HIV prevention and educating his audiences about stigma and discrimination. Today, his music encourages the empowerment of people and spreads AIDS awareness messages in Mali and overseas.

Toumani descends from a long line of oral historians and singers. He has blended ancient West African music tradition with other modern and traditional music from across the world and been instrumental in introducing the kora, a 21-string harp lute, to audiences around the world and in developing it into a solo concert instrument.

Sabu Yerkoy (Radio Edit)