Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981, son of the late legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, who famously recorded Talking Timbuktu with Ry Cooder in 1994. The young Touré overcame the dissuasion of his father to take up music, and in 2007, when he announced to his terminally ill father that he was going to record, Touré the elder decided to appear on a few of the tracks. That eponymous debut, played in the tradition of his father, was released on World Village. On his second recording, Fondo (2009), he displayed his own fusion of the traditional with rock, Latin music, and other African influences.
In 2011 Vieux explored more cross-cultural experimentation, recording The Secret with South African-born vocalist Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks on electric slide guitar, and jazz guitarist John Sco eld. The following year, after a chance meeting with Israeli multi-instrumentalist and World Music proponent Idan Raichel at an airport in Germany, Vieux and he formed the Touré-Raichel Collective to record the rst of two (thus far) releases which have drawn comparisons to his father’s work with Ry Cooder. But he retrenched in 2013 to produce a more traditional acoustic set, Mon Pays, to address the violence in his country between Tuareg and Islamic rebels.
He continues to find genre-bending collaborations with other musicians, and it is exciting to imagine where “The Hendrix of the Sahara,” as he has been called, will travel next.