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Orchestra Gold


Led by the dynamic singer/dancer Mariam Diakite, Orchestra Gold (OG) was founded in 2017 and enriches the Bay Area community with cultural arts from Mali, West Africa, through performance, education, and innovative projects.

As a band, OG plays an original stew of Malian folklore and innovative 60’s era psychedelic rock. As the OG Creative Director and Lead Teaching Artist, Mariam promotes Malian “oldstyle” folkloric dancing and drumming. Guided by expression and education, we create inclusive spaces and outreach to marginalized groups so that everyone can access the rich cultural resources of Mali. 

It’s 1976 and you just stepped inside a smokey club in Bamako, Mali. The air is thick with the gritty analog sounds of funky folkloric music, psychedelic guitar swirling with jazzy horns and hypnotic bass. As the crowd shakes their bell bottoms to the infectious grooves, the singer commands the stage with her soulful vocals and dance moves that give James Brown a run for his money.

This is the vibe that Oakland’s Orchestra Gold creates in their live shows as well as on this latest EP “Orchestra Gold: Vol. II.” Recorded at Guerrilla Studios in East Oakland, Vol. II brings together the powerful vocals of Mariam Diakite with the arrangements and guitar playing of Erich Huffaker, along with an all-star cast comprised of some of the finest musicians from the Bay Area and Santa Cruz. With this latest batch of songs, Orchestra Gold honors the traditions of Malian music while evolving and pushing the music forward by adding their own unique stew of analog, rock & psychedlic to the mix.