Touré, Ali Farka
- Gregory F. Barz
(b Niafounke, Mali, 1949; d Bamoko, Mali, March 7, 2006). Malian guitarist . He was known as the ‘Bluesman of Africa’. His first instrument was a n'jarka (one-string Malian chordophone). Touré’s guitar playing style combines elements of the American blues tradition and Arab-influenced Malian traditional music. After Mali’s independence, he served as director of the Niafounke artistic troupe from 1962 to 1971. With the troupe he performed for the first time in Europe, appearing at a 1968 international festival in Sofiya. Touré was influenced by blues musicians such as John Hooker in the 1970s, and he found the North American guitar playing style to be similar to Malian string playing traditions. He recorded extensively in France during the 1970s and began returning to his roots in the 1980s with a series of collaborative efforts, working with Taj Mahal on Source and Ry Cooder on Talking Timbuktu. The inspiration that Touré drew from his Malian heritage can be heard in his ...