the peace

Niafounke is a dusty town in the North of Mali nestled along the banks of the river Niger and a few hours from the historic Timbouctou. It's legendary in its own rite, renowned as hometown of Ali Farka Touré -- a man who even in life had become myth, a…

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the choice is yours

"It's called world music – music without boundaries. You take a little bit of African, America, Europe, Latin – and mix it together. That's world music," Ama explains. "We don't play world music." We're sitting outside Demba's house in Niafounke. It's a starless night, the residual clouds of the evening's…

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Sonrai sound

En route to Timbouctou, I stop over in Goundam, a nondescript village of the Niger Delta. As I travel with guitar, a young man stops me and asks if he can have a look in the case. "Moi, aussi, je suis un artiste..." His name is Babah Dire (from the…

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Sing me a song!

Girl by the rice paddiesA French songGirl by the market with Amadou and Mariam's Homage to Ali Farka ToureGirl in Niafounke tries to remember the wordsGirl with mother singing Na Hawa DoumbiaHamadou Traore singing song from the Bi-annal, National Orchestra of TimbouctouKids with the Mali National Anthem (sort of French)Mamadou…

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Legacy of Toure

The town of Niafounke is alongside the Niger River in Northern Mali. It is notably famous for being the birthplace of Ali Farka Toure, and the tradition of music continues here. The town itself is mostly Songhai (or Sonrai), and the music that we associate with the North, the drumming…

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