Renowned Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure, who won a Grammy Award in 1994 for Talking Timbuktu, his collaboration with American guitarist Ry Cooder, will zigzag across the United States for a rare tour in July and August.
Toure's spare guitar style makes a connection between West African music and the monochordal American blues of artists such as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters on tracks including "Ali's Here" (RealAudio excerpt). His 1999 release, Niafunke (Hannibal), was named for his home village on the edge of the Sahara. It was recorded on a mobile studio in a mill near where Toure lives with more than 50 members of his extended family. Toure remains active as a rice farmer and agricultural adviser and has used his foreign royalties to fund village well-digging projects.
Thanks to his cross-pollination of blues and West African music, Toure, 61, has become one of the best-known world-music artists, although he rarely leaves Niafunke.
Toure will be accompanied by his band, which includes his guitar-playing protégé, Afel Bocoum, whose debut album, Alkibar, was released recently.
Ali Farka Toure tour dates:
July 21; Washington, D.C.; George Washington University/Lisner Auditorium
July 22; Baltimore, Md.; Artscape
July 23; Los Angeles, Calif.; Hollywood Bowl (with Alvin Youngblood Hart)
July 26; San Francisco, Calif.; Warfield Theater
July 29; Seattle, Wash; WOMAD Festival
July 30; Jacksonville, Ore.; Britt Pavilion
Aug. 1; Boston, Mass.; The Roxy
Aug. 4; New York, N.Y.; Town Hall
Aug. 5; Atlanta, Ga.; Variety Playhouse
Aug. 7; Boulder, Colo.; Chatauqua Auditorium
Aug. 9; Chicago, Ill.; Park West
Aug. 10; Columbus, Ohio; Southern Theater