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About Amadou & Mariam
Amadou & Mariam are a Grammy Award-nominated musical duo from Mali, composed of the couple Amadou Bagayoko (guitar and vocals) and Mariam Doumbia (vocals).
Amadou lost his vision at the age of 16, while Mariam became blind at age five as a consequence of untreated measles. They met at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind, where they both performed at the Institute’s Eclipse Orchestra, directed by Idrissa Soumaouro, and found they shared an interest in music. Between 1974 and 1980, Amadou played guitar in the West African band Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako.
In 1980 the couple married and by 1983 they began to play together while Amadou continued a successful solo career and ran the blind institute's music programme.
The duo's early recordings in featured sparse arrangements of guitar and voice. Since the late 1990s Amadou & Mariam have produced music that mixes traditional Mali sound with rock guitars, Syrian violins, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian ney, Indian tablas and Dogon percussion.
Last updated: June 2017