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Vieux Farka Touré

Biography

Ali Farka Toure didn't want his son Vieux to become a musician, but desert blues fans the world over should be thanking their lucky stars that cooler heads (including Toumani Diabate's) prevailed. Vieux showed musical prowess from an early age: he mastered Malian percussion like the calabash at a young age, and went on to sing and play guitar, hiding his practicing from his father. But Ali, hardened from his years of poverty as a struggling musician, didn't want his son to suffer as he did. Despite his best efforts to force him into a career as a soldier, Vieux rebelled, enrolling in the National Arts Institute in Bamako and striking up a friendship with kora player Toumani Diabate while there. Diabate recognized the young Toure's talent and invited him to join his ensemble, where he honed his chops and toured the world. With time, Ali Farka Toure came to accept his son's choice, thanks in part to Diabate's interference. The ultimate acceptance came in 2006, when Ali played on two tracks that appeared on Vieux's 2007 self-titled debut album. Ali Farka Toure died of cancer not long after making those recordings.

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