African Diaspora Showcase Features Music from Mali, Ethiopia and Cuba

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Fatoumata Diawata plays SFJAZZ April 8 as part of an African Diaspora mini-fest (Aida Muluneh)

American jazz and blues clearly resulted from the African diaspora. To celebrate the roots of these genres, SFJAZZ is holding a mini-festival with shows by the Bay Area's Meklit Hadero, born in Ethiopia; Fatoumata Diawara from Mali; and David Sanchez, a master at mixing Afro-Cuban and bebop.

Recently, Diawara released a powerful new music video that takes on the tragedy of that diaspora. It's about African refugees fleeing the continent for Europe, and, in the video, the very rocks of the earth are on the move.

Meklit Hadero is an amazing Ethiopian born singer-songwriter who has been exploring the music of the Nile Delta for a long time now. Her latest album, When the People Move, the Music Moves Too, is "a full out Afro-futurist jazz explosion," to quote guest co-host Eli Wirtschafter. Meanwhile San Francisco singer Paula West does a show about jazz and social justice the same weekend. Woody Guthrie's "Dust Bowl Refugee" might be appropriate. Details for the shows on April 5-8 are here.