Just in: Kronos lose major singer due to US visa delays

Just in: Kronos lose major singer due to US visa delays


norman lebrecht

May 30, 2019

Message from the Kronos Quartet:

It is with great regret that the Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) announces that Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté is unable to travel to the U.S. to be part of Kronos Festival 2019 on June 1. Her cancellation is due to the U.S. Department of State’s failure to issue her required P-3 visa in a timely fashion.

Kronos Quartet, Valérie Sainte-Agathe and the San Francisco Girls Chorus will perform the world premiere of Tegere Tulon, Diabaté‘s new work for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, as planned.

Diabaté’s work authorization was approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) without issue. Although she has previously traveled to the U.S. and been approved for multiple U.S. work visas in the past, the U.S. embassy in Bamako, Mali, unnecessarily chose to subject her application to the current administration’s “extreme vetting” procedure, a process that is known to indefinitely delay visa issuance.

“We are extremely disappointed that Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté will not be able to travel from Bamako to San Francisco to take part in our festival,” said KPAA Managing Director Janet Cowperthwaite. “It is deeply upsetting that such an amazing vocalist would be prevented from sharing her unique artistry here. What a missed opportunity for Kronos, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and our audiences.”



  • Ned Keene says:

    The usual Trumpologists will be along soon, to tell us how this was all entirely necessary and justifiable.

    • Bill says:

      The “very stable genius” probably couldn’t even find Mali on a map. But he probably heard that they have a lot of Muslims there…

      • Ned Keene says:

        [[ The “very stable genius” probably couldn’t even find Mali on a map ]]

        He’s due in the UK over Monday-Wednesday next week, on a State Visit. Apparently he believes he will be welcomed?

        • Bone says:

          Tiresome. Looks like the UK is involved in their own Trumpology.
          Regardless, this situation with Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté is terrible. Wish she had just snatched a kid off the street and walked across the southern border like any other illegal.

    • Stuart says:

      I am apolitical and a libertarian – less or no government is fine with me. Clearly this was neither necessary not justifiable. The disconnect is at the local consulate level, and the hurdle she is being asked to jump is discretionary and unusual for someone in her circumstances. According to another report: In recent weeks, the Department of State’s DS-5535 form – introduced to enact the current administration’s “extreme vetting” initiative – is increasingly being required by consular staff at U.S. embassies in Africa. Requirement of the form is discretionary. It is typically not required of visa applicants who have proven histories of professional travel to the U.S., and of world-renowned artists who have proven histories of legal and successful touring in the U.S. When the DS-5535 form is required, as it was in the case of Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté, the processing time of a visa application typically increases from ten days to more than six months. Protocols for when consular staff should require the form are vague and subjective; once requested, not even congressional intervention has proven successful in expediting the processing.