Ali Farka Toure – Ai Du
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Ali Ibrahim “Farka” Touré (October 31, 1939 – March 7, 2006) was a Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist, and one of the African continent’s most internationally renowned musicians. His music is widely regarded as representing a point of intersection of traditional Malian music and its North American cousin, the blues.
The belief that the latter is historically derived from the former is reflected in Martin Scorsese’s often quoted characterization of Touré’s tradition as constituting “the DNA of the blues”. Touré was ranked number 76 on Rolling Stone ’s list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and number 37 on Spin magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
He was born in 1939 in the village of Kanau, on the banks of the Niger River in Gourma-Rharous Cercle in the northwestern Malian region of Tombouctou. His family moved to the nearby village of Niafunké when he was still an infant.
He was the tenth son of his mother but the only one to survive past infancy. “The name I was given was Ali Ibrahim, but it’s a custom in Africa to give a child a strange nickname if you have had other children who have died”, Touré was quoted as saying in a biography on his Record Label, World Circuit Records.
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