ARCHIVE – Vieux Farka Toure

ARCHIVE – Vieux Farka Toure


The Center for the Arts presents
Wednesday, May 18
with Markus James opening
7:30PM, $18 members, $20 non-members

“…Vieux Farka Tour is forging his own identity, expanding on his father’s drones and gnarled picking patterns with a rocker’s joyful audacity.” – The New York Times

“Here in Africa, he who teaches you in life, you follow his path. As [Ali] neared the end of his life, I knew that the wisdom he imparted on me was important to spread.” – Vieux Farka Tour

Vieux Farka Tour, the son of the great Malian guitarist Ali Farka Tour, has already stepped out from his late father\’s shadow. Ali Farka Tour proved – in case anyone ever doubted it – that the soul of the blues could be found in West Africa. His son Vieux is turning heads with a more radical idea: that those western Saharan roots can be heard in everything from the jam band scene to Jamaican dub.

Fondo, Vieux\’s newest recording, is more than a stirring mix of traditional instruments and modern production. More than a world music artist embracing the sounds of rock, it is the sound of a young man coming into his own. His self-titled debut, released in 2006, seemed to be the passing of a torch, as it included the last recordings by his legendary father, and a healthy dose of traditional Malian songs from his father\’s repertoire. But his new album has only one traditional song; everything else was written by Vieux himself. The album\’s opening salvo, Fafa, has a bluesy rhythm and intricate guitar solos that may recall Eric Clapton\’s glory days with Cream.


Markus James has been recording original, Blues-based music with traditional West African musicians since 1994, when he made his way to the Northern Mali village of Niafounke, home of the legendary Sonrai musician Ali Farka Toure, who became Markus’ friend and inspiration.

Markus’ recordings have been warmly received in the US and Europe, and he has been honored to have tracks included on 2 compilation sets: “Sahara – Blues of The Desert” (Union Square) and “Desert Blues III” (Network), alongside such great artists as Ali Farka Toure, Baaba Maal, Tinariwen and others.

Markus’ longterm collaborations with 3 traditional Malian musicians in Timbuktu was the subject of the award-winning documentary film “Timbuktoubab”, seen on many PBS stations around the US.  In Mali, Markus has performed at the Festival In The Desert 3 times, and at the Ali Farka Toure festival twice.  In the US  Markus performs with West African artists based here, and has appeared at California Worldfest, Strawberry Music Festival, and Chico World Music festival; for this show,  he will be accompanied by Amadou Camara on Calabash.

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