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Ali Farka Touré

Ali Farka TouréAKA Ali Ibrahim Touré

Born: 1939
Birthplace: Kanau, near Gourmararouse, Timbuktu, Mali
Died: 7-Mar-2006
Location of death: Bamako, Mali
Cause of death: Cancer - Bone
Remains: Buried, Niafunke Cemetery, Niafunke, Mali

Gender: Male
Religion: Muslim
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Guitarist, Activist

Nationality: Mali
Executive summary: Bluesman of Africa, Talking Timbuktu

Nicknamed Farka, meaning donkey, because he was the first child to survive infancy after his mother's ten pregnancies. Called "the African John Lee Hooker", Touré played both electric guitar and the djerkel, a one-stringed guitar, and sang in Songhai, Fulani, and Tamashek. Following the Malian independence from France in 1960, Touré worked as a state-sponsored musician in Niafunké. Following a surge in popularity outside Mali in the 70s, he pursued a music career sparingly, despite receiving a Grammy for Talking Timbuktu (1994), a collaboration with Ry Cooder, and being profiled in a Scorsese-directed segment of the miniseries The Blues (2003). Instead, Touré spent much of his time working his farm and acting to improve the quality of life in Niafunké. He was mayor of that city from 2004 until his death.

Wife: (married twice, 12 children)

    Grammy 1994, for Talking Timbuktu, with Ry Cooder
    Grammy 2005, for In The Heart Of The Moon, with Toumani Diabaté
    Moorish Ancestry

Is the subject of documentaries:
Ali Farka Touré: Ça coule de source, 2000, DETAILS: Yves Billon and Henry Lecomte
Ali Farka Touré: Le miel n'est jamais bon dans une seule bouche, 2002, DETAILS: Marc Huraux

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