In 1996, Djelimady Tounkara and Bassekou Kouyaté from Mali were due to fly to Havana to record with a group of Cuban musicians, including veterans Orlando "Cachito" Lopez and guitarist Eliades Ochoa.
Visa problems for the Malians put paid to that idea; Buena Vista Social Club was born instead. AfroCubism eventually appeared in 2010, and the album and stage shows, featuring Toumani Diabaté's kora and Griot singer Kasse-Mady Tounkara among a stellar Afro-Cuban line-up, confirmed the potential in that trading and linking of deep musical and cultural connections. The rolling ease and intimacy of their playing – they are master musicians – can't help but uplift anyone in earshot.
Sunday's concert in Norwich is the first of three summer visits, followed by Field Day at Victoria Park in Hackney and Manchester's Bridgewater Hall over the Jubilee Weekend. When it comes to truly global musical royalty, Afrocubism takes the crown.
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