March 18th, 2011
Episode 285 of 426 episodes
One of the great living legends of Malian music, Khaira Arby is widely hailed as the queen of Malian desert soul, and with good reason. Shrouded in regal colors, she presides over a small army of brilliant African musicians, who create a hypnotic backdrop for her gloriously swooping vocals. It feels a little silly to think of her as a frontwoman — the mere lead singer of some band — but she's all showmanship and command on the live stage. Hear Khaira Arby and her band perform the gorgeous songs from her album Timbuktu Tarab live at NPR Music's SXSW day party from The Parish in Austin, Texas, on March 17, 2011.