THE guest director for the 2019 Brighton Festival has been announced.

Malian singer Rokia Traoré will head up next year’s month of artistic events.

She becomes the 11th guest director of the festival, following in the footsteps of Laurie Anderson, Kate Tempest and, most recently, David Shrigley.

The 44-year-old songwriter is a talented multi-instrumentalist, and is regarded as one of Africa’s most inventive musicians.

Following her appointment as Brighton Festival Guest Director, she said: “I knew about the Brighton Festival and how well organised it is.

“Being part of the team and exchanging ideas about which artists will be performing and why is an interesting experience for me.

“It is an opportunity to take the time to look at and to think about other artists’ work.

“I’m excited, curious and enthusiastic about the journey. There are lots of things to learn from the city and the audience and the festival itself and it’s going to be a very exciting and rich few months spent together.”

Rokia’s big breakthrough came in 1997 and since then she has released six studio albums.

She is also an avid humanitarian, and in 2009 she set up the Foundation Passerelle in support of emerging artists amid the social crises in her native Mali.

Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Festival, said: “We are delighted to announce Rokia Traoré.

“She is a remarkable artist who deserves to be recognised for the great breadth and range of her output.

“She also has a great preparedness to think beyond her personal practice and engage with and comment upon the world around her.

“I look forward to the engaging, stimulating and eclectic festival which I have no doubt she will inspire.”

Brighton Festival 2019 will also feature the UK premiere of Rokia’s theatrical and musical project Dream Mandé Djata, a musical monologue structured around the tradition of oral history storytelling, interwoven with classical songs of the Mandingo history.

The full programme for Brighton Festival 2019 is expected to be announced on Wednesday, February 13 next year.