Ali Farka Toure – Farmer, Music Legend, Mayor 1939 – 2006

We are deeply saddened to announce that the legendary Malian musician Ali Farka Touré passed away in his sleep at home in Mali on March 6th 2006, he had bone cancer.

Ali Farka Touré was a true original. An exceptional guitarist, he transposed the traditional music of his native north Mali and single-handedly brought the style known as desert blues to an international audience. Last month he won his second GRAMMY award for the album ‘In the Heart of the Moon’ with Toumani Diabaté, and work had just been completed on his new solo album.
Ali saw his main role in life as that of a farmer and for a large part of his life he dedicated his time and resources to better the agricultural and social situation in Niafunké, his home village in the semi-desert region in northern Mali, Ali’s tireless work was officially recognised when he was appointed mayor of the region in 2004.
Ali Farka Touré was a giant of African music and will be missed by fans throughout the world. He is survived by a widow and 11 children.
Read our full interview with Ali conducted in his house in Bamako about a year before his death
Pictures of Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté playing the Barbican here on our sister site Flykr and a review of the gig here.
Read the review of In the Heart of the Moon
Also released recently are the wonderful Red and Green albums
Read about Ali playing the Segou Festival in Mali and see Lydia Martin’s pictures of the event on Flykr
Finally, Robin Denselow has written a fine obituary in the Guardian

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