Hammer Theatre Center launches its Black Cab Jazz series with Malian guitarist Habib Koité, one of Africa’s most popular and recognized musicians – and one of the few African artists to appear on Late Night with David Letterman. He takes a unique approach to playing the guitar, tuning his instrument to the pentatonic scale and playing on open strings as one would on a ngoni, a traditional West African guitar. Unlike the griots, Koité’s singing style is restrained and intimate with varying cadenced rhythms and melodies. With more than 400,000 albums sold and over 1,700 concerts performed around the world, Koité has built an exemplary career with a foot firmly rooted in his culture. He has also participated in memorable theme tours alongside other artists.