The life of Ali Farka Tourè of Mali


Ali farka toure was born in October 1939 in the village of kanau on the banks of the Niger River i.e. the northwestern Malian region of Timbuktu. Ali was the 10th son son of his mother but he was the only one that survived past babyhood. As the first African blues singer to achieve widespread popularity in his home continent, he usually sang in of several African languages but mostly Bambara, tamasheq, songhay and Fulfulde.

Ali had received wide popularity through his albums and concerts over the years but his 1994 album; ‘talking Timbuktu’ which was a collaboration with Ry Cooder sold wildly in western markets. He reappeared with the release of ‘Niafunke’ a more traditional album that focused on African rhythms and beats. In 2002, Ali came back to the scene with Corey Harris an African-american reggae blues performer with an album called ‘Mississippi to Mali’ the duo also appeared in 2003 documentary film tilted ‘Feel like Going Home’ which traced the roots of blues music back to west Africa.

In 2004 Toure became the major of Niafunke, the town of his origin and spent his own money grading the roads, putting sewer canals and fuelling a generator that provided poor villages with electricity. And in 2005 he collaborated with Toumani Diabaté to release the album ‘In the Heart of the Moon’ for which he received a Grammy award. July of 2006, his last album Savane was released after his death. This album received wide acclaim by his fans and was nominated for another Grammy in the category of ‘best contemporary world music’. In March of 2006, Ali died of bone cancer in Bamako at the age of 66.

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