WOMEX 13 Official Showcase Selection
Although often compared to the late Ali Farka Toure (no relation), Sidi Toure's take on the blues-inflected guitar styles derived from the Songhai traditions carries his own stamp. Born in Gao in northern Mali in 1959, he came to fame during the 1980s as lead singer of the Songhai Stars. The band split in 1990 and he carried on as a solo artist but he had to wait until 2011 for international attention when Chicago label Thrill Jockey released the first of three albums to date, and brought him to the US to tour. This year saw him on tour in Europe alongside Bassekou Kouyate and Tamikrest and the release of Alafia (Peace), recorded in Nantes and Bamako during last year's takeover of northern Mali by Islamist militants, events which shaped the themes of the album.