“Sons of the Sahara” is a unique collaboration between two of Africa’s most esteemed and dynamic guitar masters. Bombino (Niger) and Vieux Farka Toure (Mali) perform separate sets and together, electric and acoustic, transporting the audience on a dazzling and intimate musical journey to the Sahara Desert, the original birthplace of the blues.
VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ
Frequently Asked Questions
Omara “Bombino” Moctar was born in 1980 in Tidene, Niger, an encampment of nomadic Tuaregs. He is a member of the Ifoghas tribe, raised as a Muslim, and taught to consider honor, dignity and generosity.
In 1984, a drought hit Niger and Mali, forcing people to leave and move into the cities or migrate to Algeria and Libya. Eventually, Tuareg communities in those countries rebelled to defend their rights. Rebels taught about the goals of the rebellion through song and guitar.
Bombino later fled with his family to stay near relatives in Algeria. One day, some relatives arrived from the front lines of the rebellion, carrying guitars. Bombino taught himself to play. He then started lessons and later joined a band. As the youngest and smallest member of the band, the others called him “Bombino”, a variation on the Italian word for “little child.”
Bombino’s first internationally released album, Agadez, was released in 2011. In 2013, he released Nomad, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music album chart and iTunes World chart. Music critics compared him to Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Neil Young, and Jerry Garcia. In 2015, Bombino recorded his next album, Azel. And in November 2017, Bombino and his group traveled to Morocco to record his latest album, Deran, which quickly hit #1 on the iTunes World Charts and was hailed as an instant classic. The New York Times which dubbed Bombino ‘the Sultan of Shred” Deran was nominated for a Grammy for Best World Music Album, making Bombino the first ever artist from Niger to be so nominated.
VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ
Vieux Farka Touré was born in 1981, the son of legendary guitarist Ali Farka Touré. When Vieux was in his teens, he declared that he also wanted to be a musician. His father disapproved. But with help from family, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing.
Initially a drummer / calabash player, Vieux secretly began playing guitar in 2001. His father recorded a few tracks with him. Vieux’s self-titled debut album was released in 2007. In it, he pays homage to his father and follows Ali’s musical tradition.
On his second record, 2009’s Fondo, Vieux presented his own sound, while remaining true to the roots of his father’s music. By June 2010, Vieux was performing at the opening concert for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. That month, he also released his first live album, LIVE. In 2011, Vieux released his third studio album, The Secret. Vieux released The Tel Aviv Session in 2012, collaborating with Israeli superstar Idan Raichel. The album was hailed by fans and critics as a masterpiece and one of the best collaborative albums in the history of international music. In 2013, Vieux’s latest album Mon Pays was released as an homage to his homeland. Vieux reunited with Idan Raichel in Paris to record, release and tour their second collaborative album in 2014. In 2015, Vieux released an album with Julia Easterlin titled Touristes, which shot to the top of the iTunes World chart. And in 2017, Vieux released his latest album Samba. With each new project, Vieux expands his horizons, embraces new challenges and further entrenches his reputation as one of the world’s most talented and innovative musicians.
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