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Touré on tour: African rocker returns to Brooklyn

Guitar guy: Malian guitarist and musician Vieux Farka Touré will perform songs from his album “Samba” at Bric on April 6.
Brooklyn Daily
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Good golly, it’s Mali music!

Malian guitarist and rock musician Vieux Farka Touré will launch his seventh album “Samba” with a concert in Fort Greene on April 6. The show is the first stop on his world tour, and the African artist says he is elated to return to Brooklyn — the site of his very first concert in the United States.

“It has been a long time since I have played at a club in Brooklyn,” said Touré. “I think the last time was at [now-closed venue] Zebulon in 2007, which was my first concert ever in the United States so I am very happy to return to Brooklyn. It is like playing in a hometown for me, and since it has been so many years, I am excited for this.”

Touré, the son of Grammy-winning artist Ali Farka Touré, plays traditional Malian music as well as Malian blues and rock, but said that he is also inspired by reggae, hip-hop, and jazz. He hopes to create a new sound for his country, just as his father and artists like B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and James Brown carved new paths.

“These guys are all very strong musical leaders who were not just masters in their styles but paved the path for entire new styles on their own,” he said. “What I am trying to do with my music is to further the path of Malian music to go into new areas while also staying authentic to me and to my culture.”

But his experimental sound will still sound familiar to American ears, he said.

“I want people to know that the style of music that I play — it might seem strange or foreign to some people but it is based on all the same things as your favorite American rock group,” said Touré. “You will be able to feel the rhythm and sing along with the pentatonic scale that I use. I will sing in a language you do not understand, but the melody and even the sound of the words, you can sing them with me.”

The concert will be a joyful occasion, and the rhythms will have people dancing, regardless of any language barriers.

“If you like to see good live music, dance and have fun, then you should come to the concert — it’s really quite simple,” he said. “I play music because it brings me joy and I like to spread that joy to all who will listen.”

Vieux Farka Toure at Bric Arts Media [647 Fulton Ave. at Rockland Place in Fort Greene, (718) 855–7882, www.bricartsmedia.org]. April 6 at 8 pm. $18 ($15 in advance).

Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018
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