In Nuru Kane, world music fans may well be witnessing the birth of a new Youssou N'Dour or Ali Farka Toure. It's too soon to tell, of course, but he's got some of the elements in place: a free-spirited musical omnivore, he crosses borders and genres while keeping strong melodies at the center of his sound. Kane grew up playing mbalax-style pop music in Senegal, though he listened to and loved everything from Afrobeat to Bob Marley. It wasn't until he was traveling in Morocco (after moving to Paris) that he truly found his calling. He was, in fact, literally called: walking to the market one day, he heard a man playing the three-stringed guimbri, the bass that fuels the heart of Morocco's trance-inducing gnawa music. It worked its magic on him, and he bought one and took it back to Paris. After years of study, he formed Bayefall Gnawa with friends Thierry Fournel and Djeli Makan Sissokho and began gigging to good reviews. In 2004, the band found itself invited at the last minute to perform at the Festival in the Desert in Mali, a watershed event for many African musicians. The set so electrified the audience that Kane and company immediately found themselves in demand upon their return to Paris. In 2006, Kane released his solo debut Sigil, a remarkable album that explored the sounds of West and North Africa without being tied to any single style. In 2007, he was nominated for a BBC Radio 3 award for Best Newcomer.