Paul Chandler is a film producer, musician, educator and music producer living and teaching in Mali since 2003. He is the founder and director of Instruments4Africa, a 501c3 that supports traditional music in Mali and produces large scale music festivals featuring both locally and internationally known musicians.
These festivals have often, since 2012, taken place in extremely complex and hostile environments in the north of Mali and are used to promote peace and reconciliation in the region. Through this work Paul has fostered relationships with community leaders in the region that are invaluable to the making of Vieux Mali.
Paul, during his 15 years in Mali, has also produced events and organized projects for National Geographic, NY Times, Carnegie Hall, USAID, Johns Hopkins/Bloomberg School of Public Health, US Department of State, UNICEF, APE Artists Project Earth, ABC, National Museum of Mali, Ministry of Culture (Mali), ICRISAT, and BONO’s non-profit organization DATA.
In the past year Paul has produced a documentary feature called “It Must Make Peace” that features many of the same musicians who will be acting in Vieux Mali. The film is in its final stages of post-production, test screenings in Mali have met with incredible reviews.
Paul is also a visionary educator, his music program at the American International School of Bamako fused western theory and pedagogy with traditional music and instrumentation. The program included an artist in residence program featuring some of Mali’s most accomplished artists many of whom Paul has produced albums for. This list includes Salif Keita, Khaira Arby, Bassekou Kouyate, Bono, Damon Albarn, Toumani Diabate, Oumou Sangare, Rokia Traore, Ali Farka Toure, Amadou and Mariam, Cold Play, Habib Koite, Youssou N’dour, Cheick Tidjane Seck, Lucy Duran, Vieux Farka Toure, Sidiki Diabate, Baba Salah, Afel Bocoum, Babani Kone, Samba Toure and many others. You will notice that many of these names are reflected in our cast list, the trust Paul has cultivated being our point of embarkation when pitching Vieux Mali to our actors.
Without Paul’s passion, experience and relationships Vieux Mali would be impossible to produce.