bearing the nickname Vieux, he
was born Boureima Farka Touré in Niafunké, Mali
in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali
Farka Toure, 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 wasn't in favour of this due to the pressures he
had experienced being a musician. Rather, he wanted Vieux to
honor his lineage and become a soldier. But with help from family
friend the kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux convinced
his father to give him his blessing to become a musician.
Vieux was initially a drummer / calabash player, but secretly
enrolled in Mali's Institut National des Arts to study guitar
in 1999. He also studied traditional music with Toumani Diabaté,
Ali Farka Touré was weakened with cancer when Vieux announced
that he was going to record an album. Ali recorded a couple
of tracks with him, and these recordings, which can be heard
on Vieux's debut CD, were amongst his final ones. It has been
said that the senior Touré played rough mixes of these
songs when people visited him in his final days, at peace with,
and proud of, his son's talent as a musician.
In 2005, Eric Herman (still Vieux's manager) of Modiba Productions
expressed an interest in producing an album for Vieux; to do
so, he had to get permission from Ali Farka Touré, Toumani
Diabaté, and other community elders. This led to Vieux's
self-titled debut album, released by World Village in 2007.
Ali Farka Touré's work to tackle the problem of malaria
is continued as 10% of proceeds are donated to Bee Sago, a UNICEF-affiliated
organisation, as part of Modiba's "Fight Malaria"
campaign in Niafunké. On this first album, Vieux pays
homage to his father and follows
tradition, giving new versions of the West African music that
is echoed in the American blues. The album features Toumani
Diabaté, as well as his late father. Other unique instruments
that can be heard on the album are the Guinea flute, the njarka
(a traditional spike fiddle), n'goni and kourignan (scraper).
One of the tracks, 'Courage', is on the soundtrack of the film
The First Grader (2010).
UFOs Over Bamako is a collection of dance and trance remixes
ofVieux Farka Touré.
On his second record, Fondo on Six Degrees (2009),
Vieux branched out and presented his own sound: while remaining
true to the roots of his father's music he uses elements of
rock, Latin music, and other African influences.
In June 2010, Vieux performed at the opening concert for the
FIFA World Cup in South Africa. That month Vieux also released
his first live album, LIVE.
2011 Vieux released his 3rd studio album, The Secret,
so named because the listener will hear the secret of the blues
with a blend of generations from father to son. It was produced
by guitarist Eric Krasno (of the Soulive trio) and features
South African-born vocalist Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks on electric
slide guitar and jazz guitarist John Scofield. The title track
is the last collaboration between Vieux and his late father.
Over the last few years Vieux has been giving concerts, performing
in major festivals including WOMAD, and touring constantly.
Find out more by visiting www.vieuxfarkatoure.com