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Fatoumata Diawara: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Fatoumata Diawara is a true multi-hyphenate – an esteemed Malian singer, songwriter and actress who left her home country at 19 to pursue her artistry in France. By way of Como, Italy, she delivers a riveting performance alongside her bandmates, many of whom have toured with her since 2018. The guitarist and keyboardist here – Yacouba Kone and Arecio Smith – both contributed to her Grammy-nominated album, Fenfo.

Rich, textured guitars complement her native Bambara vocals and bring a contemporary feel to her traditional Malian sound. These renditions are sonically disparate from her album versions. On "Kanou Dan Yen," Fatoumata's captivating and calming aura is as contagious as her electric smile. "Nterini" is a touching ode to her lover about how distance creates enormous heartache. Fatoumata ends her set on a vibrant note with "Negue Negue," an uptempo Afrobeat jam with rambunctious rhythm and spirit.


  • "Kanou Dan Yen"
  • "Nterini"
  • "Negue Negue"

  • Fatoumata Diawara: vocals, guitar
  • Yacouba Kone: guitar
  • Juan Finger: bass
  • Arecio Smith: keys
  • Yves William Ombe Monkama: drums, percussion

  • Production: Montuno Producciones y Eventos, S.L
  • Audio Recording: Andrea Fognini & Davide Lasala at Edac Studio, Como Italy
  • Editing: Juan Gomez de Mello at Verano TV
  • Sound Engineers: Andrea Fognini, Davide Lasala
  • Mixing & Mastering: Tomi Pérez

  • Producer: Abby O'Neill
  • Video Producer: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Kara Frame, Maia Stern, Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

    Abby O'Neill