March 12, 2015, BY Kathryn Kopchik

Malian guitarist and singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara will perform in concert Wednesday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Theatre at 413 Market St., Lewisburg.

The concert, which is the final event in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts' 2014-15 season, is sponsored, in part, by David and Clayton Lightman and Family.

Prior to the concert, Diawara will give a free lecture/demonstration April 15 at noon in the Weis Center Lobby.

This tour engagement of Fatoumata Diawara is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment of the Arts.

Perpetuating Mali's rich musical tradition, Diawara presents a joyous mix of the vibrant and understated, combining songs about love, politics and empowerment. Her arresting melodies soar over intricate guitar and drum arrangements. Inspired by Wassoulou tradition, jazz, and blues, Diawara has created her own unique contemporary folk sound, with a distinctly African spin to the concept of the female singer-songwriter.

At the center of the music is Diawara's warm, affecting voice; spare, rhythmical guitar playing; and gorgeously melodic songs that draw powerfully on her own often troubled experience.

Born in Côte d'Ivoire, raised in Mali, based in Paris, Diawara has had a life covering a whole gamut of contemporary African experience: fighting parental opposition to her artistic ambitions and the cultural prejudice faced by women throughout Africa and winning success as an actress in film and theater before finding her feet in the medium she was always destined to make her own: music.

Damon Albarn, Toumani Diabaté, Herbie Hancock, and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones are just a few of the major players who have fallen for Diawara's effortless musical charm, as her presence has lit up shows in Europe by Africa Express, AfroCubism, and Hancock's "Imagine" project. Her debut album, Fatou, breathes with the natural warmth, confidence, and spontaneity that are the essence of Diawara herself.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 62+, $5 for youth 18 and under, $5 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), $5 for non-Bucknell students and free for Bucknell students (limit 2).

Tickets can be purchased online at www.bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or by calling the Campus Box Office at 570-577-1000.

For more information about this performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

The Weis Center will announce its new 2015-16 season, which includes another 30+ professional performances, in July. New brochures will be available in late July and single event ticket sales will begin Friday, Aug. 14.

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or www.facebook.com/WeisCenter

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