A few years ago a group of hoteliers got together in the pleasant but unremarkable stopover of Segou along the banks of the Niger river to work out how to get people to stay for a while in their town. Thus the Festival sur le Niger was born and this year it burst its banksRead more "Festival sur le Niger – Dancing through the Tears"
With a fresh take on his father’s trademark sound, Vieux is almost guaranteed to attract international audiences — even if only a handful of his compatriots have heard him play. We went to the Sahara to talk to himRead more "Vieux Farka Toure – Desert Blues 2.0"
Quite possibly the most difficult festival to get to on earth, certainly the most fun, The Festival in the Desert is held at Essakane every January. Head for Timbuktu and when you have reached the middle of nowhere, keep going for a few more hours of treacherous driving up and down sand dunes and you […]Read more "The Festival in the Desert 2007 – Essakane, Mali"
Iconic, essential, quite possibly still a ‘work of lunatic scholarship’, The Rough Guide to World Music is back but what kind of shape is it in all these years later?Read more "The Rough Guide to World Music: Africa & Middle East – Volume 1 of 3 (Book review)"
Catching Ba Cissoko’s band on stage is like watching African lightning bottled in front of you. The aching beauty of the acoustic kora, the thrill of an electrified kora and the cross currents of tradition and modernity in west African music meeting in one band. The whole — as dazzling as it is — feels […]Read more "Ba Cissoko – Visitors from Electric Griot Land"
As keenly as the loss of this great artist has been felt around the world, there has also been an intense anticipation surrounding his last ever recording. We now know that the world’s most famous farmer was aware of his impending death in the last few years of his life and it is tempting to […]Read more "Ali Farka Toure – Savane"
Ali Farka Toure was awarded Mali’s highest civil honor on Wednesday as a dense storm of sand and dust delayed his funeral in Niafunke, his Saharan hometown.Read more "Ali Farka Toure – Commander of the National Order of Mali"
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.Read more "Ali Farka Toure – Farmer, Music Legend, Mayor 1939 – 2006"
Moffou, his last album, was one of the most beautiful records ever made. Receiving its successor was like queuing up to see Taxi Driver II; how could it possibly live up to expectations?Read more "Salif Keita – M’Bemba"
Welcome to Ali Farka time. Ali starts late and thanks the audience for their patience in French. At a beautifully languid pace he rolls his earthy sound into gear. His performance opens with a full band but his guitar, voice and the calabash dominate as on his recordingsRead more "Ali Farka Toure – Barbican ’05 Reviewed"