Tag Archives: Ali Farka Toure

Songhoy Blues review – exuberant African R&B

“This is dedicated to our father Ali Farka Touré,” announced lead singer Aliou Touré, somewhat confusingly, as the band launched into a song that started like a speeded-up African blues by Mali’s legendary guitarist, but then spiralled away into a furious and exuberant Hendrix-like improvisation, driven on by insistent bass and drums. Songhoy Blues are […]

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Toumani Diabaté with Sidiki Diabaté and Trio Da Kali – review

Royal Festival Hall, London The world’s most celebrated kora exponent plays his first live debut with his son, Sidiki This was an historic night for Toumani Diabaté, the world’s most celebrated kora exponent. “Salaam alaikum, London,” he said, introducing the young man seated next to him, who was also playing the 21-stringed West African harp. “This […]

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Vieux Farka Touré – review

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London The Malian blues guitarist has emerged from his father’s shadow as a fluent – and electrifying – performer “I’m scared,” announces a remarkably confident-looking Vieux Farka Touré, proving that his growing international success is matched by growing fluency in English. “I don’t know what people want. Do you want to dance […]

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Garifuna Music Survives and Thrives ‘Against All Odds’

Shortly after becoming U.S president, George W. Bush met his Brazilian counterpart and professed an ignorance of Brazil’s long history of African slavery and integration. The incident underscored the still-widespread misunderstanding of slavery’s deep reach across centuries. Just as in the United States, the influx of Africans throughout the Americas has had a profound cultural […]

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Africa Passes Through Glastonbury: Rokia Traoré, Fatoumata Diawara and Others

Africa, largely Mali, passed through Glastonbury over the course of last week. The famed UK festival featured heavyweights such as the Rolling Stones who appeared for the first time ever and the Oasis’s Noel Callagher. These indiciduals shared their star presence alongside African household names such as French-Malian Fatoumata Diawara and her fellow Malian Rokia […]

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A Way into African music

 Vieux Farka Touré wins club crowd at Jazz Fest I have a confession: I don’t know much about African music. Sure, I’m not completely in the dark — I know the obvious ones like Fela Kuti and Ladysmith Black Mambazo — but much of the genre is so foreign to me that I have been […]

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Mali hits Glastonbury: Rokia Traoré, Fatoumata Diawara and more

When music was banned in Mali, the organisers of Glastonbury festival swung into action and invited the country’s top acts over. Here’s what to look out for. When it comes to African music, Glastonbury stands taller than most A-list rock’n’roll festivals. Way back in 1982, the percussion wig-outs of Nigeria’s King Sunny Ade were a revelation to me: […]

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Blues for Mali as Ali Farka Toure’s Music is Banned

It has been almost nine months since Islamic militants in northern Mali announced that they were effectively banning all music. It’s hard to imagine, in a country that produced such internationally renowned music as Ali Farka Toure’s blues, Rokia Traore’s soulful vocals and the Afro-pop traditions of Salif Keita. The armed militants sent death threats […]

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