Sean also acknowledged Salif’s work as a social activist on behalf of people with albinism. Albinos across Africa and around the world are persecuted, kidnapped and sometimes mutilated by people believing in their occult powers. Salif wants to put an end to that and to encourage the social integration of albinos. To find out about the work of the Salif Keita Global Foundation, visit salifkeita.net.
Salif seemed genuinely moved to receive the Afropop Hall of Fame award. It goes to honor African artists of the highest musical achievement who have made major contributions to connecting Americans with the continent. Then Salif introduced his band and performed an energetic set that had some 5,000 fans on their feet dancing to classics like the buoyant “Tekere,” as well as songs from his newest album Un Autre Blanc. Special moments included a gorgeous kora solo by Mamadou Diabate and a sublime solo piece by Salif, accompanying himself with nimble acoustic guitar picking.
Special thanks to Steve de Sève and his team at BRIC TV for videotaping the whole event, and to BRIC TV for producing the induction ceremony video. Stay tuned for their upcoming piece. Thanks also to Jack Walsh, executive producer of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, Rachel Chanoff, the artistic director, and their entire awesome team for presenting such a beautiful evening.