Amadou et Mariam played one of the most memorable concerts in the history of our festival 11 years ago. A few talented musicians met at the Institute for Young Blind People in Bamako in the 1970s. The definitive breakthrough in their career was the album Dimanche and Bamako, which was produced by Manu Chao. Subsequently, they recorded the hymn of the FIFA World Cup in Germany, "Celebrate the Day", along with Herbert Grönemeyer. Another album Welcome to Mali became the most successful album of the year on Metacritic and was nominated for Grammy. Shortly after, they played the main stage at Glastonbury and during the Nobel Prize ceremony in 2009. Amadou et Mariam collaborated in following years with artists such as Damon Albarn, U2, David Gilmour, Coldplay, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Scissor Sisters. Their concert at Pohoda 2019 will also be about exceptional collaboration. Amadou et Miriam will perform with one of the most famous gospel bands of the world, Blind Boys of Alabama in project named BAMAKO TO BIRMINGHAM featuring Amadou & Miriam and Blind Boys of Alabama
The five-time Grammy winners already played at Pohoda in 2007. The band was founded in 1939. After a slowdown in the 60s and 80s, they experienced a great comeback with the Deep River album in 1992, and especially after 2000 with Spirit of the Century or Higher Ground, both awarded with Grammy. The band collaborated with artists such as Mavis Staples, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Lou Reed. Their concert program is busier than that of many present-day stars not older than their grandchildren, and they are still releasing new albums. The most recent autobiographical album, Almost Home (released in August last years), was nominated for a Grammy and was rated 8.6/10 by Paste magazine. Their fundamental musical recipe and legacy at the same time doesn't change even after seven decades, and its significance is growing especially nowadays, in the age of uncertainty and doubt. As the band members themselves told The News and Observer: "We are trying to sing good songs that will make people feel good. Our music gives people hope, we bring good news and we say they don’t have to worry, because everything is going to be alright."