Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ali Farka Toure

Legendary singer Ali Farka Toure (October 31, 1939 – March 7, 2006) was born in Niafounke into a North Malian noble family who trace their roots back to the Spanish Moors who first crossed the Sahara to control the salt and gold trade. In 1956, after a chance meeting with the director of Guinea's National Ballet, Keita Fodeba, Toure made the decision to learn the guitar.

The self-taught Malian guitarist, Ali Farka Toure, is on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

It was a prescient choice as he will forever be known as the Bluesman of Africa because of his highly distinctive blues style that's a cross-mix of the Arabic-influenced Malian sound with American blues reminicent of bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Big Joe Williams.