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Ali Farka Touré (1939-2006)
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Ali Farka Touré is a farmer, and a singer-guitarist, who plays in a distinct style coming very close to the blues. Based on traditional songhaï music, he also uses Fulani (Peul), Touareg and Bambara elements, singing accordingly in one of these languages.
Ali was born in Gourma-Rharous, where his father died when Ali was two years old. At age of seven, Ali was sent to his uncle in Niafunke (Niafodié) where he grew up, working hard on the fields. He was not given the opportunity to attend school. Nine brothers of Ali died, but Ali continued to struggle, which gave him his surname of "farka" (=donkey), representing his stubborness.

Ali "Farka" Touré is making albums since the 1970s and is still one of the most famous Malian musicians and respected by everyone. A contract with World Circuit and his collaboration with Ry Cooder brought the international acclaim he deserves, although he remained humble and was more interested in farming and helping young artists of his country than in receiving international awards.

Born: as Ali Ibrahim Touré, 1939, in Gourma-Rharous (Tombouctou region), died in Bamako 7 March 2006.
Style: Songhaï blues.


Title Year Label Remarks
Ali and Toumani 2010 World Circuit WCD 083 Recording session with Toumani Diabate
Savane 2006 World Circuit WCD 075
In the Heart of the Moon 2005 World Circuit WCD 072 Recording session with Toumani Diabate
Red & Green 2004 World Circuit WCD 070 2CD album, « La Drogue » and « Sidy Gouro » remastered and repackaged
Niafunké 1999 World Circuit WCD 054
Radio Mali 1996 World Circuit WCD 044 Compilation of older Radio Mali recordings
Talking Timbuktu 1994 World Circuit WCD 040 With Ry Cooder
The Source 1992 World Circuit WCD 030
The River 1990 World Circuit WCD 017
Timbarna/Eight Songs from the Legendary Singer 1987 World Circuit WCD 007
Sidy Gouro 1988 Sonodisc/Esperance 8448
La Drogue 1984 Sonodisc/Esperance 5558 Rereleased on CD in 1989
Ali Touré dit “Farka” [Banga] 1980 Sonafric 50083
Yer Sabou Yerkoy 197? Sonafric 50060
Biennale 197? Sonafric 50032
Spécial Biennale du Mali 1976 Sonafric 50020
Ali Touré "Farka" [Bandolobourou] 19?? Sonafric 50016

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