The following description was submitted by the event organizer.
Bassekou Kouyate is one of the true masters of the ngoni, an ancient traditional lute found throughout West Africa, and he has collaborated with many musicians in and outside of Mali, such as Ali Farka Toure, Toumani Diabate, Taj Mahal, Damon Alban, Joachim Kühn…). He rejoices in an unusual band formation, which includes three players of the n’goni and two percussionists (talking drum, Yabara, Calebasse). Completed by the fantastic singer Amy Sacko, the band performed at major global festivals (e.g., Glastonbury, Roskilde, Fuji Rock Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, and WOMAD). In 2013, the BBC chose Bassekou as the “best African artist of the year”. His new CD “Miri” is #1 in the world music charts in Europe in February and March 2019 and has been voted “Best Album of the Year” by Songlines magazine.
Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006. Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers, and defied his parents in becoming a musician. When Vieux was in his teens, he declared that he also wanted to be a musician. His father disapproved due to the pressures he had experienced being a musician. Rather, he wanted Vieux to become a soldier. But with help from family friend the kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing to become a musician shortly before Ali passed.