Bassekou Kouyate + Vieux Farka Touré are at the Alladin Theater
Bassekou Kouyate is one of the true masters of the ngoni, an ancient traditional lute found throughout West Africa, and he has collaborated with many musicians in and outside of Mali, such as Ali Farka Toure, Toumani Diabate, Taj Mahal, Damon Alban, Joachim Kühn…).
He rejoices in an unusual band formation, which includes three players of the n’goni, manifested in its differing tonal sizes and 2 percussionists (talking drum, Yabara, Calebasse). Completed by the fantastic singer Amy Sacko, the band performed already at major festival around the globe (e.g. Glastonbury, Roskilde, Fuji Rock Festival, North Sea jazz Festival, WOMAD). In 2013 the BBC chose Bassekou as “best African artist of the year”. His new CD “Miri” is #1 in the world music charts Europe in February and March 2019 and has be voted as “Best Album of the Year” by Songlines magazine.
Vieux Farka Touré
Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006. Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers, and defied his parents in becoming a musician. When Vieux was in his teens, he declared that he also wanted to be a musician. His father disapproved due to the pressures he had experienced being a musician. Rather, he wanted Vieux to become a soldier. But with help from family friend the kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing to become a musician shortly before Ali passed.
Vieux was initially a drummer / calabash player at Mali’s Institut National des Arts, but secretly began playing guitar in 2001. Ali Farka Touré was weakened with cancer when Vieux announced that he was going to record an album. Ali recorded a couple of tracks with him, and these recordings, which can be heard on Vieux’s debut CD, were amongst his final ones. It has been said that the senior Touré played rough mixes of these songs when people visited him in his final days, at peace with, and proud of, his son’s talent as a musician.
When the COVID pandemic hit in 2020 and all touring ground to a halt, Vieux stayed focussed on his craft at home. He worked tirelessly in the studio he built at his family's compound (which he named 'Studio Ali Farka Toure' in honor of his late father) to record his debut album for World Circuit Records/BMG, the prestigious UK-based record label with whom his father recorded and released most of his own work. The resulting album, 'Les Racines' (released June 2022), sees Vieux masterfully return to the deep roots of the Desert Blues music that his father introduced to the world and Vieux spent most of his career to date exploring, experimenting with, and expanding. 2022 also saw the release of a long-awaited collaborative album between Vieux and Houston-based psych-rock superstars Khruangbin called ‘Ali’ - an album on which the artists join forces to pay homage to Ali Farka Toure by reimagining eight of his songs together. The album was an instant hit around the globe, immediately getting millions of streams, enormous critical acclaim and even earning the praise of Sir Elton John who called it "one of the albums of the year - absolutely wonderful music." With each new project Vieux broadens his horizons, embraces new challenges and further entrenches his reputation as one of the world’s most talented and innovative musicians.